I recently attended a two-day “AE Bootcamp 2.0” workshop in Las Vegas, organized by the Agency Management Roundtable, which was designed to teach account executives strategy development and client problem solving. I’ve outlined a few take-away’s below:
- What do your clients expect of you? During the workshop, there was a lot of discussion on what the client expects from the account executive versus the firm. After much debate, the workshop coordinators showcased the results of a national survey answering this very question:
- Industry/market knowledge
- Making the client’s job easier
- Organized and dependable
- Empowerment to make decisions
- Passion for solving problems
- Willingness to be treated as a consultant and vendor
- Don’t learn on the job
- How to be a consultant and not a vendor. Business is built on relationships and there are significant differences between being a consultant for your client and being a vendor. Consultants take the time to understand a client’s goals and strategically help them accomplish them. Conversely, a vendor typically provides tactical services that help move that vision forward, but doesn’t act as a strategist. Below are ways to become a consultant:
Below are approaches you can implement to be a consultant to your clients:
- Trust: Perceived as caring intensely about the well-being of clients and their business.
- Manage expectations: Under promise, over deliver.
- Constantly look beyond today: Don’t get stuck in tactical mode, you always need to carve out time to be strategic.
- Empathize with the CEO: What keeps your client up at night? How can you create solutions to help solve these problems?
Attending workshops like these serves as a great reminder about what clients expect from you as an account executive, and what they expect from their marketing/PR firm.
What do you think clients expect from you and your firm?
– By Berbay Senior Account Manager Megan Braverman