January 29, 2009

Keeping Your Job

Filed under: Career Advice — Joe Grant @ 10:53 pm

resumeThe other day my doctor told me he’s seen a large increase in people asking for tranquilizers. My dentist says she’s diagnosing more jaw pain – from people unconsciously clenching their teeth. It’s a common reaction to increased stress.

Because people are worried about losing their jobs.

What can you do? Well, for one thing you can make yourself indispensable. If you’re the “lock” on an account – the one person absolutely essential to anchoring your client to your agency – then it’s going to be tough give you the ax.

Effective account execs provide much more than just a ready order-taking service. They anticipate client needs and proactively present opportunities. They know their client’s business perhaps even better than the client. They have immediate and rock-solid answers on the status, budget, and results of every client project running through the agency. They are unequivocally the go-to guys.

The trick is to get ahead of the curve. Study your client’s business so you’ve always got something of value to contribute. Do store checks, interview field staff, probe client customers to understand how their needs are met by your client’s products. Test drive the competition and analyze competitive strategies and spending. Become a walking repository of knowledge

Transform yourself into that one indispensible keystone of the account and you’ll enjoy true job security. AEs who survive shaky times will tell you they outlast client staff cuts and re-orgs because they’re the glue, not just the glitter.

Your 2 Cents

Time now for your thoughts.

What do you do to make yourself indispensible to your clients? How have the senior-most people at your agency survived turbulence? What are you doing to get smarter about your client’s business? How do you stay ahead of the curve?

Please comment below.


1 Comment »

  1. We get call reports from our best client, and circulate them among the entire team. Ideas bubble up from everyone on the team and that makes the entire agency valuable to the client.
    Not easy to make happen. Not every client cares to write a sales call report. Not every one shares the report with us when they do write one. However, we’ve been able to increase this client’s market share from 16% to 32% in three years so the exercise has been worth it to all parties.

    Comment by Perry Ballard — April 14, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

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