Are you an agency account manager looking for promotion to the next level?
I speak to many account managers who feel they lack ‘strategy’ and believe if they want to progress within agency account management they need to develop this skill.
But what is strategy and why do agency account managers feel they aren’t strategic?
Well, many tell me they need to be more strategic in the following situations:
1. In client meetings
They are sitting in a meeting with a client, listening to some of their business challenges and thinking to themselves ‘how can I add value to this conversation’? Perhaps all that’s needed is to ask the right questions and listen? (remember the rule of listening 70% of the time and asking great questions the remaining 30%?) but sometimes we’re called upon to offer our view on the market, customers, business situation etc. and we may feel ill-equipped to have a view. This I’m told is a serious concern. Is it for you?
2. Leading a pitch
Depending on how our agency is structured, often it’s down to the account manager to lead a pitch for a new client. Whether you agree with the concept of pitching for business or not (check out Blair Enns book ‘Win without pitching’ before you answer that), account managers tell me they would like to take a bigger role in coming up with the strategy and thinking that is going to drive the creative and the campaign.
3. Developing proposals
Many account managers are responsible for developing proposals for their existing clients and while they know they have great ideas to include they are concerned their ideas don’t match the client’s business objectives so they want to align their thinking with the client’s business challenges.
If any of this sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to develop your strategic thinking muscle? To really understand what it means to be strategic and how you can ensure you’re applying the right skills in the right situation to give the client confidence you know your stuff.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you are developing your account management skills.