As an account executive your role is often to act as the hub for the account. The majority of agency activities funnel through you to the client and back. This means you are managing relationships and expectations within your own workplace as well as with the client. You are really serving two masters.
The first master you must understand and follow is that of process. Your ability to succeed in your workplace relationships goes beyond being everyone’s friend. You need to understand the systems in place and how to achieve your client’s goals by working within those parameters. It means you also need to foster relationships with other departments in the agency – whether they are editorial, art, IT or accounting. It’s your job to listen to their thoughts, ideas and concerns the same as you do for your clients.
Being the daily face of the agency to the client, your internal work relationships and account management skills are on display at all times to all parties. To succeed, you need to gain the respect of everyone around you in the agency and on the client side. Here are some rules of thumb to follow to help achieve this goal:
- Realize you will need to gain the trust, respect and support of those you work with both internally and externally
- Recognize others for the work they do
- Always do your homework
- Put into practice the skill of knowing when to speak and when to listen
- Learn when it’s necessary to champion an idea or cause
These are just a few rules to follow to achieve the excellence we’re all striving for in the workplace. Just remember that whether you’re dealing with individuals assigned to your account within the agency or the client themselves, you’re all on the same team. Your ability to recognize the contributions of others will go a long way to starting, growing and keeping those relationships.
– Steve Iaconis