Dear Robert,

When I started my advertising agency, Deep Focus, at the age of 26 in 2002, I had no idea what I was doing. What I wanted to do was reimagine the “agency” for a modern world with modern challenges, one unencumbered by legacy business models. As media changed around us, it began to change consumers, and I knew that clients would be met with more complex problems to solve, and more complex consumers to market to. One of the things I learned along the way was that businesses have problems to solve, and clients have problems to solve—and they are not always the same problems.

I thought the answer to building a client service–focused agency was just caring a lot about our clients' businesses. But it's so much more. If I had had The Art of Client Service by my side when I began, I have no doubt that I would have been able to accelerate the growth and maturation of our agency faster and more responsibly. We did a lot of great work in spite of not knowing how to properly manage our clients to greatness. We learned a lot of lessons the hard way.

But it didn't have to be like that. If I had a time-traveling DeLorean, I'd go back in time and leave a copy of The Art of Client Service on my desk.

I wish I had this book when I was starting out in my career, much less when I was starting Deep Focus. But I sure was glad a mentor gave it to me several years ago. Immediately upon putting it down, I made moves that fortified our client service organization, and enabled us ...

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