While the designation of account executive involves different responsibilities in different business settings, just about all incarnations will involve providing an ongoing connection with the clients assigned to the executive. This may involve acting as the advocate for the client with the company, ensuring that the customer is receiving the care promised at the time the business relationship was established.
There are several characteristics or traits that indicate a competent account executive. One of the most important in providing proper customer care is proper training and credentials. As an example, an executive with an investment firm must have gone through certified training. Typically, high scores on the Series 7 and/or the Series 63 securities exams is a strong indication of professional knowledge. The background information supplied in preparing for these types of exams ensures that a professional of this type will be fully proficient in buying and selling securities that will enhance the financial security of his or her clients.
Of course, the person who deals with securities will also provide other types of support for the customer as well. As part of preparing to buy or sell securities, a truly professional account executive will always be on the lookout for stock and other investment opportunities that are of interest to the client. This will involve maintaining a current profile on each customer that will, ideally, include data about personal interests that may come into play with stock selection, as well as the usual financial data. Since a good financial professional knows how to respect client confidentiality, having this type of information on hand should not be a problem.
An account executive may build a client base through several methods. He or she may first be assigned a core group of customers by the firm, but the base can often be grown by the positive word of mouth that any quality individual receives from current clients. This second alternative is usually actually a relatively easy sell, since the prospective client has already heard good things about the executive. Another means of growing an account base involves using traditional methods of selling to attract attention.
While in some business cultures, this professional is not expected to engage in cold calling or other forms of solicitation, there are a number of those in various businesses who do engage in basic selling techniques and spend part of their work week seeking new customers.
Attributes such as articulation, knowledge, and a sincere desire to provide excellent customer care to each member of the client base are essential in order to be a successful account executive. While the exact position responsibilities will vary from one industry to another, possessing these three basic qualities will help an individual to serve each customer with both competence and professional grace.