6 Tips to Transition New Account Executives to Life at Your Agency

So, you have invested both time and money (that you didn’t have) searching for a new Account Executive.  Now that you think you have found a “keeper” you are eager to discover if they will sink or swim.  I mean you had to learn the hard way, right?

Although this hands off approach might seem like the easiest solution, ask yourself if you are willing to risk the negative impact from possible damaged client relationships and the agency morale if they don’t.

All too often we assume that new hires should know our agency culture or our expectations around how to manage client relationships.  The importance of training cannot be overlooked both to create a positive first impression of the agency and to set up your new hire for success.

Here are a couple of tips to help your Account Executive transition to life at your agency.

1. Good Creative Briefs

Provide your new Account Executive with solid Creative Briefs.  Getting good input from the clients is critical, so make sure that you have put together briefs that ask the right questions to both convert facts into insights and propel the creative team towards a solution to the clients’ needs.

2. The Account Executive’s Role

All too often AEs spend the majority of their day at the agency.  Remember that the role of the Account Executive is to strengthen client relationships, so they need to get out of the office and start putting in some serious face time with their clients.

3. Agency Superstar

Although your new Account Executive might bring years of experience to the table, that doesn’t mean that they will be successful at your agency.  Pairing your new Account Executive with one of your AE superstars to act as a mentor will ensure that they learn the skills they need to be successful quickly and a little of the agency’s culture will rub off too.

4. On-Going Training

Once your new Account Executive has worked for you for a while it might be an idea to enrol them in outside training to improve their skillset.  Sending them to networking events, seminars and tradeshows will also help them to engage with your client base and prospects.

5. Business Goals

In my previous blog I spoke about the importance of agencies becoming a marketing partner to remain competitive.  For small to medium-sized agencies getting involved in your client’s planning process will help you to be thought of as a partner and not just a vendor.  To do this, the AE needs to help their client outline their goals.  Next, they will outline the strategies that they would need to take in order to meet or achieve each goal.  Once the strategies are established then the AE can work with the creative team to outline the tactics or actions to take.

6. Reward Performance

Don’t forget to reward employees for a job well done. It is important to recognize strong performance to encourage repeat performances, keep them motivated, and to create some healthy competition between the rest of the AE’s on your team.

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