What Does An Account Executive Do?
Account executives play an important role in companies within many different types of businesses, from advertising to fashion. A lot of people think of it as a sales position, but the responsibilities of an account executive cover much more than that. Their role often includes problem solver and advisor.
The duties of an account executive fall into three main areas:
- meeting people
- finding new clients
- taking care of existing clients
To catch the attention of new clients, an account executive must first find potential clients whose needs can be met by what the company sells. An account executive must then study the client’s business and figure out what they need.
Once the client’s needs have been identified, the account executive works to design a group of products and services that will help the client reach their goals.
Next, the account executive gives a presentation to show the client what they can do to help them. This often includes showing the client how they can benefit from a product or service that they may not have known about.
After the presentation, the account executive works out the details of the contract. Adding or subtracting products or services to get it just right for the client and meet their budget. Once the client and the account executive can agree that it’s a good deal for both of their companies, they sign a contract.
The job doesn’t end there.
The account executive also has to take care of and grow long term connections with the clients they already have. This includes working to make sure both businesses are getting what they need.
To do this, an account executive must have an understanding of their client’s business goals and needs, as well as noticing any changes within the client’s specific type of business.
Also, the account executive must make sure they understand their own company’s business model, and what is changing in their line of work too. Being aware of changes helps the account executive make current sales goals and design ways to sell their products.
The account executive must think of new ideas to give their clients to help their business be successful. They can’t just sit and wait for a client to tell them they are unhappy. By that point – it might be too late to save a valuable client.
An account executive must have great communication skills and be able to work with clients when things go wrong. If a client is unhappy with a product, or their business needs have changed, an account executive must be able to problem solve and help fix the situation.
Being flexible, hard working and creative will help fix problems and keep everyone happy.
An account executive handles letting everyone know what is going on with a project. This includes their:
- project team
An account executive must be comfortable talking to people in many different ways, including:
- formal meetings
- phone calls
- video conferences
- social gatherings
Everyone involved in a project needs to be told about progress, problems, and changes that need to be made. How often they talk about it depends on each person’s role in the project. Some may need detailed day to day updates, while others only need to be told about big, important information. The account executive handles making sure everyone is told what they need to know about each part of the project. This means they have to be organized, be a team player, and work hard when things get difficult.
Account executives often have to travel to conventions, trainings, conferences, and trade shows. Going to such events can help in different ways.
These events allow an account executive to talk with current clients, as well as learn about and identify new clients in a business friendly setting.
Account executives can also pay attention to their competition, and see what they are doing for their clients.
Conferences and trainings let an account executive learn about and experience new products and services that are just becoming available, and learn the skills necessary to use them and teach other people about them. Account executives can then return to their own companies and share new information and skills with their co-workers, which helps the company meet all of their clients’ different needs.
The job of an account executive is complicated, and they must do a lot of different tasks. A successful account executive must be able to talk to all different kinds of people, work well with others, and work hard to begin, develop, and maintain long lasting business relationships with a variety of clients.