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Helping the account handler handle

“What do you do exactly?”

“What is your role?”

“Isn’t that what the account handler is supposed to do?”

“Aren’t you just a suit?”

How many times have any of us, who work on the account handling side, heard these and many more questions like them?

Too often – that’s how many.

So, maybe this is a good time to remind all parties (that would be clients and colleagues) of a few basics.

I’m not going to differentiate here between a junior account executive and, say, a board level account director. Let’s just say the basics apply to all of us account handlers; because, whatever the level of seniority, that’s what we do – we handle accounts!

Do’s and Don’ts

Account handlers do:

–       act as the main contact in an agency for the client on a day-to-day basis, helping to ensure that the client’s overall needs are met

–       make sure the specific requirements and needs of the client are understood and adhered to

–       ensure the work is briefed, scheduled and completed on time

–       make certain the work is produced to the appropriate a high standard

–       work within the financial budgets agreed with the client

–       develop an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship between the client and the agency

–       have an opinion and make sure it’s heard

Account handlers don’t:

–       work as an unpaid member of the client’s staff or a runner for other departments in the agency

–       have a crystal ball

–       know exactly what you mean, when you say “You know what I want”

–       act as a punch bag (verbal or physical) for frustrated clients, creatives or suppliers because things are not going as you want them to or simply because you got out of bed the wrong side

Is it fun and glamorous?


Yes. It can be fun.

But it is also damned hard work keeping everyone happy, and a watchful eye on all the jobs in the system to ensure nothing falls off the edge of the table. So, is it glamorous? No!

Remember… the more love, care, time and most importantly INFORMATION you give to your account handler, the happier they are and that’s what gets everyone better results.