In some professions you learn all you need to know in College. But Advertising isn’t one of them.
Even if you studied advertising, chances are that you have never taken a course that will prepare you for what’s coming. And having people in Client facing functions that are lacking key skills generates huge costs for the Agency
So here are five things that they need to learn.
- To analyze. As with Doctors, Agency people need is to understand what the real problem is. Once you identify it, the solution is easier to implement. If you don’t know what the problem is, you spend huge amounts of resources throwing different solutions out until something sticks.
- To sell. An account person who does not know how to sell is like an Accountant who does not know how to handle numbers. If he cannot exert influence on his Client the Agency will be forced to expend huge amounts of time and money to cater to every Client whim.
- To present. Presentation skills help you sell more effectively, of course. But they also help position you with the people on the other side of the presentation… the more credible and successful you are, the fewer times you will have to re-do things.
- To negotiate. Agency life is one long negotiation. Dealing with Clients is as well. The better you are at it, the better the Agency will fare.
- To inspire. This is the hardest of the lot. It will require experience, intuition, patience and an ability to deal with ambiguity. If you are unable to do it you will condemn the Agency to false starts which cost a lot of money. When you learn to do it you become an invaluable asset.
College was the starting point, but in the real world you need to carefully and properly train your staff. Otherwise it will cost you.