I came across this excellent seminar the other day & James touches on account-man 3.0 point in his presentation below.
Having been lucky enough to work with him as an agency leader it got me thinking back to some of the clear values of client leadership that need to be embraced today more than ever.
Is it me or is finding account handlers that have those ‘fireproof gloves’ getting tougher & tougher. The really good ones can have a catalytic effect on a relationship, so that when you are stuck, they find a way through for the team. As James points out – the clue is in the title – account management or account direction – and it’s really what the client is looking for you to do – lead. This is more important today (and this will be recurring theme) than ever.
It’s your piece of business, not anyone else’s – so staff it with people that are better than you & fight for your team.
James also mentions Jim Kelly in this piece & I have to say that I have the utmost respect for Jim. The man is true pro & an absolute legend. I’m not just saying that because of the kind words he wrote to me before leaving the UK but I’ve also been lucky enough to work with him through several pitches too. The mantra still rings in my mind through every new biz start up process.’Who’s driving this bus’ was the call that went up along the corridor as he looked for the responsible account handler in order to provide some helpful pointers.
This is as true for the pitch process as it is for the day to day. You are in charge & you are the guardian of the client relationship in the agency.
It’s a bus that needs a driver who is firmly in control of the wheel…