Introduce yourself to someone at a party. Try it.
You have 20secs to explain what you do as an account handler to someone that isn’t in the business.
‘So you don’t write the ads?’ Nope.
‘So you must make the ads?’ Not exactly.
‘Okay – I got it – you come up with the strategy?’ Erm..
‘What about placing where the ads go?’ Absolutely not.
‘You’re the money guy?’ Closer.
After a long rambling description, your new friend says:
‘So you sort of organize people, the process & make the client happy with nice lunches? I could do that’.
I was actually in a meeting the other day where a colleague of mine inadvertently referred to me as an accountant. I think this was more than a freudian slip. There seems to be a genuine lack of understanding around what good account handling actually is & how great client service actually makes a difference. Just whack a few entries into google for ‘account handling blogs’ & you’ll get some great stuff from the IPA in the UK (who I think understand this knowledge transfer issue) plus a few random links like the below:
The brain drain to more financially attractive careers (management consultancy, banking, law etc) feels like it has really hit the business hard. The ‘dark art’ of client handling – historically passed on by word of mouth/experience feels like it’s draining away too. Progression is a bit of a lottery out there in an oversupplied, highly fragmented world that splinters more each day.
In a later post I’ll summarize some of the best books I’ve found on the topic and these come closer to the ‘codified common sense’ it takes to manage those difficult situations we find ourselves in everyday. If problems are our currency & our way of delivering value to clients then some of this ‘received wisdom’ needs to get out into the blogosphere. This is what remastered accountman is all about. Trying to come to grips with a new definition for what we’ll be doing as account handlers when we & our clients have an ‘always on’ mindset – where change accelerates every second of every hour of every day.
Next time you look in the mirror. Or next time someone asks you what you do – try to come up with something better than ‘client service’ that better reflects the world you find yourself in.
The best I could do is in the title of this post & tries to capture the savvy hustle we need in today’s interconnected multiverse – getting out of the daily trouble whilst leading our clients through the best possible choices.
It’s more interesting than an accountant anyway.