3 Traits to Look for in any Great Account Executive

The toughest jobs are those that put people between two equally strong and demanding forces. Waitresses, for example, are at the mercy of their customers and cooks, yet their tips and livelihoods often depend on their abilities to provide high-quality service. Account executives are in similarly demanding positions. They have to serve their clients and their agencies equally. A great account executive functions as more than a mere liaison between client and agency, though. She is the client’s thinking partner, tasked with serving as both advocate and devil’s advocate. Account executives strive to understand the client’s entire business and to appreciate how marketing will influence every aspect of it. On the agency side, a great account executive is always working to make the company look good and, ultimately, improve its bottom line. He’s a student of business who knows how to build accurate estimates and then hold his team to those estimates so they come in on time and within budget. Above all, the great ones understand the job is all about balance and that losing balance means everyone involved takes a plunge. That’s why finding a genuinely talented account executive should be among all agencies’ top priorities. Asking the Right Questions When interviewing potential account executives, ask them to explain why they want the job. Ideally, they’ll tell you that their goals involve a love of driving business growth, both for you and for your clients. Ask about a time when the candidate had to explain to a client that a project was about to go out of scope. You’ll want to know how he handled objections and hear about the outcome. Similarly, ask about his systems for managing clients’ budgets and timelines. Great account executives have [...]