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Account handlers don’t receive adequate training in how to grow business. Discuss.

By October 10, 2012 4 Comments

Author Jenny

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  • Rupert Graves says:


    A great topic.

    I’ve worked in agencies for over 10yrs – from account exec to running my own department. I’ve never been formally told (or shown) HOW to GROW business. It is generally assumed that you’ll ‘learn on the job’ and be ‘mentored’ and ‘coached’. This rarely, or more accurately, happens in a consistent manner.

    But, what does growing the business mean? Does it mean increase account revenue, a higher margin, winning new business…of course, it means all of the above and then some. In my mind, and experience, the key to this definition is to build strong, trust and competency based relationships with your clients. And through this, as we do in our non-work lives, reap the rewards (growth) at work.

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks for your comments Rupert. I totally agree. If you can build the trust and have the competency, account growth happens.
      Having worked in many different agencies throughout my 20 year plus (gulp) career from AE to GM I’ve seen some account handlers with potential flounder due to lack of guidance.

      I see two issues; 1. Those assigned (or who should act as) ‘mentor’ are not always the most proficient at supporting and bringing the best out of others. 2. There is an absence of an agency-wide, agency-understood approach/strategy for account growth. Therefore it continues to be a ‘pot luck’ type scenario.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. I’ll climb back down from my box now ;-).

  • Bob Sanders says:


    Go to any sizable company and they invest in training for their staff. Ad agencies will tell you their “most important asset” walks out the door every evening. But most marketing firms spend very little on staff training.

    That said, one of our most successful training programs outlines exactly what you state here! I wrote up a bit about it here:


    • Jenny says:

      Great post Bob, thanks for sharing. Good to find your site!

      What you say is so true! The ‘biggest assets’ often wing it on behalf of the agency and everyone keeps their fingers crossed that they make forecast. It’s great you’re offering a training programme to address this. Inspiring.

      Please do come again. I look forward to reading more from your blog.

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