What Makes a Great AE Part Four.
I have talked about values of being a self starter, intuitive, not being an order taker, having an insatiable thirst for knowledge, being a Renaissance Man no matter what their dominant chromosome is, loving new business and new products.
So here are some final thoughts on what skills an Account Executive needs to have today no matter if they work for an advertising, public relations, or digital agency.
They must be extremely well networked both externally and internally. This seems the easiest yet it is the hardest skill to learn. Most people really don’t know how to network or don’t really like it. Young people especially. Yet it is the most important because it will result in you being extremely well resourced and that will be the key to your career success.
Today the client solution may come from a resource not within the agency walls and if you can be the conduit to it you will grow no matter what experience level you have. If you have a broad, diverse and extensive network you will become the “Go to person” within your agency. The answer man. You can follow two roads in your career. You can be the person who searches for solutions on Google or the person who taps their network and has quick responses and results that get recognized. You can either tell your client “I’m working on it or I talked to somebody who is an expert in that area and here is what they said.” You can provide solutions or just share work in progress.
Your network provides you with more career insurance amour in an industry that is prone to solve financial short falls by cutting people. In this business there are often two equally qualified people but only the budget for one seat if the budget needs to be cut. So in this game of musical chairs who will get to sit in the chair when the music stops? The inside person or the outside person? The finder or the grinder? Well is it quite simple. It is the networked person because they offer the promise of incremental revenue through their network.
In this day and age your job will not be a lifetime one but your network will be. You will be able to take it with you no matter where you work. It does not belong to your employer, it belongs to you and over the course of your career it is as valuable as your 401K and certainly earns dividends more consistently. People who understand the benefits of networking and make it happen truly get it.
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