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The New Year - A Good Time for New Beginnings

The start of the New Year is a good time to take stock of our individual performances and relationships with our clients, and to make some “resolutions” and personal commitments as to how we can be even better account managers.

I’m not talking about the discussions we have in performance reviews or in an ownership team meeting.  I’m talking about what you say to the person in the mirror to whom you can’t tell anything except the deepest truth.

So to that end, here are some tough questions to ask the person in the mirror:

  • Have you sometimes said "yes" to a client request in an effort to be responsive, instead of determining the reason for the request?

  • Have you ever not answered a client’s call because you were either busy with something else or you knew you could get back to him later, and it would be okay?

  • Did the client ever have to call you a second (or third) time to repeat a request or check up on something?

  • Have you initiated new ideas or better ways to do something than was currently being done?

  • Have you made an effort to build a relationship with your client outside of business?

  • Have you done anything to promote the agency to the client, beyond the work on your account?

  • Does the client have all your telephone numbers (home, cell, etc.) in case he needs to reach you in an emergency (and vice versa)?

  • Have you expanded your client knowledge base in terms of meeting new people or learning more about their business?

  • Have you gone out of your way to integrate yourself into the client’s business – sales conferences, trade shows, trade publications, etc?

  • Has the client been to the agency recently, to visit the creative “factory” or meet with agency management?

  • Have you done a thorough job of evaluating the security of the account from competitive threats?

  • Have you done a thorough job of evaluating cross-selling opportunities?

  • Would the client perceive you as a “glass half-empty” or “glass half-full” kind of person?

  • Does your client know what’s new at the agency – e.g. new business, new resources, new work?

These are a few questions to start.  I’m sure that you can come up with many more.

But here’s the deal – I don’t want to know the answers.  Tell the answers to the person in the mirror and make a commitment to him/her about the things you’ll do better in the next year.  And, I’ll do the same to the person in my mirror.



Bruce Kelley

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