What does your client actually do?

by Sarah Ritchie

Clients are a mysterious breed. They show up for the occasional brief or WIP session, then they disappear for days on end. The question is: what do clients get up to when they are not directly involved with agency business?

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Keeping people happy

by Sarah Ritchie

Keeping clients happy will lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Keeping suppliers happy could mean sharper pricing and improved turnaround times. Keeping your team happy will allow you to move work around your agency quickly and without fuss. And, most of all, it will mean people will like working with you, which should open more doors than you could ever imagine.

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Account management - your USP

by Sarah Ritchie

Think about all the times you’ve been into a store, and the customer service was mediocre to poor. Now think of a time when you visited a store and were treated to excellent customer service. How did that make you feel? Surprised? Being an agency that is well-known for their high level of client service is a huge selling point in the highly competitive agency marketplace. 

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Being a good steward

Being a good steward

by Sarah Ritchie

Account managers hold the purse strings for every single job that goes through an agency. You get briefed on requirements, and then you are given the budget in which everyone has to work. Beware, because with much power comes much responsibility!

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Finding a mentor

Finding a mentor

by Sarah Ritchie

There will be a stable-full of people whom you can talk with over the course of your career - your colleagues, managers, family, friends, online contacts, paid business advisors, and - if you are intentional about it - business mentors.  

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Understanding emerging technologies

Understanding emerging technologies

by Sarah Ritchie

'Emerging technologies' include names such as IoT (Internet of Things), AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), blockchains, beacons, bots, and computer vision. Does it all sound like gibberish to you? If so, how can you talk about these concepts with your clients if you are just as flummoxed as they are? 

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Learning to laugh

Learning to laugh

by Sarah Ritchie

Would you rather be around people who know how to smile, laugh, and joke; or around those who are more serious, dry, or dull? Here's how laughter can help your career.

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How to work with contractors and still make a profit

How to work with contractors and still make a profit

by Sarah Ritchie

For the most part, clients don't want to know (nor have to know) if you are using contract staff vs permanent staff on their jobs; they just want assurance that you will produce their work as agreed to. There is no doubt that contractors squeeze a job's profitability, but they are often a necessary part of agency life, so how can you work with contractors in a way that best serves both your agency and your clients?

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Ask more powerful questions

Ask more powerful questions

by Sarah Ritchie

If asking questions is one of the gateways to being a more curious person and excelling in your account management career, then it stands to reason that you would want to ask the best questions possible to maximise the information that you'll receive in return. Asking great questions shows that you are intelligent, that you listen, and that you can communicate well.

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Meeting and managing expectations

Meeting and managing expectations

by Sarah Ritchie

Expectations are somewhat 'mysterious' things. They are usually implied, unspoken, assumed, and rarely spelt out or written down. Just when you thought an account manager's job was challenging enough you will be expected to satisfy these unspoken expectations as best you can.

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The Devil is in the detail

The Devil is in the detail

by Sarah Ritchie

If you are going to make an error on one of your jobs, it's highly likely that the error will be in the micro, not the macro. Those 'small' errors can be all it takes to derail a project, cost your agency thousands of dollars, or even lose an account. 

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Job titles: do they matter?

Job titles: do they matter?

by Sarah Ritchie

From the time a bright-faced graduate enters the industry, through to Client Service Director, standardised job titles convey not only a level of seniority, status, experience, and ability, they also give an indication of salary ranges and perceived value contribution. This internationally-acknowledged pathway provides a handy benchmark for agency owners and hiring managers, but is this pathway fair, or even still relevant?

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