I backpack for the thrill of adventure, and the same goes for why I am positioned as an Account Executive at Site Strategics. Both are endeavors that cannot be passively embarked upon, but rather require a front seat driver that knows how to keep moving forward. Client management does not come with the glorious dirt smears or campfire smoke-infused clothing, but it does require many of the skills that I have had to adapt when strapping on a 60-liter backpack for several miles.
Know Before You Go
First and foremost, get to know the area and get to know the client. The first thing I do when planning a backpacking trip is research the location I am traveling to. I get as familiar as possible with the lay of the land, climate, and any pertinent cultural aspects. And with the aid of some of my favorite apps, it becomes pretty fun and exciting to plan!
When I am establishing a relationship with a new client, I make sure to conduct just as much in-depth research as possible. I educate myself on the product or services the client provides, analyze the target audience they are selling to, and become familiar with the details of their onboarding process. This allows me to get to know the nature of the business, and also provides me with an understanding of the client’s wants and needs. I am able to ask the client more in-depth questions when I meet with them for the first time since I have already acquired a good amount of background information. It’s sort of like having the advantage of knowing where to find a well-hidden trail that not many others know about. Keep on exploring!
Always Be Prepared
I never want to be found in the middle of a forest without a water purifier, or in the middle of a client meeting without notes and an agenda. Being ill-prepared will put your health and safety at risk while backpacking, and will put your client’s well-being at a major disadvantage while trying to move forward. This is why it is important to have conducted the necessary research before taking action.
Also, be prepared to adapt because rain or shine, we still climb. This is as relevant on the trail as it is off of the trail. Managing a client is committing to that relationship, no matter what unexpected elements may occur. Similar to the outdoors, digital marketing is ever-changing, and it is important to keep clients up to speed. Our team here at Site Strategics stays on top of the latest digital marketing trends through frequent research, Edge of the Web podcast production, and more.
Be kind to your body on the trail and be consistent with client communication. I have learned that I must put my health front and center to sustain backpacking as a hobby and that I have to make reliable client communication a priority to earn their trust. Approaching client relationships with complete transparency and a genuine work ethic is key to substantial growth for their company or organization.
Trails are more fun with friends by your side but it is not always fun and games as people often have different levels of endurance. Responsible backpacking calls for ensuring everyone is well nourished and never left behind, which is based upon clear communication among hikers. At Site Strategics, every deliverable is a team effort where each team member is valued deeply. For maximum efficiency, each individual needs clear client expectations to be communicated by the Account Manager. The team has needs too.
Throbbing knees? Unable to catch your breath? Well, get back up because the top of the mountain is near and there is no turning back now. While hiking, I often have to remind myself that this literal uphill battle is part of why I committed to the trip. And to always, ALWAYS bring moleskin.
Managing clients is not such an uphill battle, but it is an accumulation of all of the baby steps that the team takes to get clients to their next desired level. It is human nature to want to lengthen the stride of these baby steps immediately, but once they have been initiated, man do they multiply. And remind them of that! Celebrate both small and big victories with the client to reassure them of their journey’s success thus far. Accomplishments for clients should ride on a wave of passion and be served with gratitude. Check out what I mean, here.