What Makes a Great AE: Part Three.
So here are some additional thoughts on what skills an Account Executive needs to have today whether they work for advertising, public relations, or digital agency.
Successful AE’s must love New Business and be able to smell opportunity. It may not be part of their job description but New Business is won by everyone every day. Many Advertising, PR or Digital firms don’t have a dedicated New Business person. Today everybody must hunt for New Business.
You can generate leads for your agency if you always keep your business cards in your pocket all the time every day and keep your ears open while you are grabbing a Starbucks, shopping, connecting with old high school friends on Facebook or having a few drinks with friends. Most people have the ability to have a drink and listen to the people around them. But only a few have New Business Antennae. Smart AE’s know how to engage with strangers without selling and just connecting. Smart AE’s know their paycheck will grow if they sow.
Valuable Account Executives must Love New Products. I worked on New Products and New Business as much as I could when I worked at agencies. They are the two most exciting areas in advertising. They are about the chase and about new things. You want to come to work early and work late. These areas are a lot more stimulating and innovative and make you learn a lot quickly. They make you grow.
So what are New Products today? Old Spice has been reinvigorated by being relauched in a new way using Social Media. Sales increased by 100%. I bet the creative person got recruited to another agency for lots of money and that the AE got a nice raise and a promotion. That is a more effective New Product strategy today than a stale new and improved message when it has been implemented numerous times.
Smart AE’s have a vision for identifying new opportunities, capturing new trends, reading cultural changes and transferring them to other areas. AE’s today must have a constant sense of discovery. They know that by transferring their own innovation to the clients that they work on can be a powerful alignment of life and work.
One more blog to come to wrap it up.
You can connect with Hank Blank on Linkedin
Follow my updates on twitter @hankblank