Does this sound familiar?
confrontations conversations with clients or co-workers.
You don’t ask questions or probe for more information.
You are uncomfortable providing bad news.
Clients request multiple rounds of revisions.
Clients or co-workers get upset with you.
You are left out of discussions or bypassed.
If you can relate to any of these, fear is sabotaging your performance as an Account Manager and you may not even realize it. But here’s what you can do about it.
Everyone Experiences Fear
It’s not uncommon to be afraid. It may be a fear of the client. Or fear of the boss or creatives. Or even a fear of all three.
Or the fear may not be tied to a person, but to the situation.
No one enjoys discussing problems or difficult situations … even seasoned Account Directors.
The difference between a successful AE and a floundering AE is how you respond to the fear.
Rather than letting the situation manage you … you must take control and manage the situation. Manage your fear.
How to Conquer Fear
Understand No Harm Will Come to You
This may sound a little silly, but this recognition alone will help your mind realize that the fear mechanism is not needed.
Recognize the One You’re Afraid of is Just a Person
He may have a big fancy title and many more years of experience than you, but as the saying goes, he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like you. For him to succeed, he needs you to succeed. So set aside your insecure thoughts and focus on doing the best job to help him succeed.
It’s tempting to overcompensate insecurity with conceit and a superior attitude. But this does not foster strong relationships. A little humility and even self deprecation will go a long way to build trust.
Try Different Approaches
You are dealing with many different personalities so don’t use the same approach with all of them. Adjust your behavior and you’ll find what works with each person.
Learn From Others
Watch how other people handle difficult situations or difficult people. Learn to emulate what you see working.
Become a Problem Solver
Rather than focusing on the problem, turn your attention to a solution. Challenges really are opportunities. So don’t dwell on the problem. Begin to brainstorm solutions. Conversations will be much easier when you present possible solutions.
Ask for Help
If you have a particularly difficult problem, don’t be afraid to ask others for recommendations. You have a wealth of experience available to you for the asking.
Try these techniques and you’ll become a better Account Executive. You’ll enjoy your job more. And you’ll grow to be the leader your agency and your client want you to be.
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