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How to Know Your Account Team is Losing Your Clients

March 11, 2016

In the day of digital media, staff can get really lazy, I mean really damn lazy.  It’s easy to look busy nowadays, at least create the illusion of busy.  It’s easy to appear like you are doing a ton of work on your clients accounts when really your team may be _________the dog.

It’s frustrating to discover your “star” player is doing jack shit isn’t it?

I know, I have been on the account side, in fact, in my previous roles over the last several years, I was brought in to help accounts that were one foot out the door.

Shitty account management is agency suicide.  Period.

So, what are some ways to recognize when your team needs some help?

1. Client Complaints

This one is pretty straightforward.  If you are getting emails or calls from clients you normally don’t hear from on a regular basis, that means trouble.  Clients who call on you to vent their frustrations is actually not always a complete loss.  If the client is taking the time to reach out, they are likely still loyal and are looking for you to make it right for them, this is an opportunity to turn things around.

2. Your Account Manager Hasn’t Heard from the Client 

This is normally the first indication that there is a problem.  If a client who normally communicates on a monthly or even weekly basis has gone cold, you have a big issue.  If  your account team has made attempts to talk to the client and they aren’t getting anywhere, it’s time to intervene or have a senior member of your team reach out. 

3. A Client Who Isn’t Paying

Obviously this is never a good situation, but if the client who is normally prompt with payments hasn’t paid, that could mean they are trying to send you a message.  The message? “I don’t feel your company is doing a good enough job of servicing my account and this is how I am telling you”.  In a case like this, putting in a call is the best way to address this.  Turning your team into a-hole collections agents won’t get you anywhere.  Call the client, try to talk it through, if that doesn’t work, well….you know what you need to do.

4. Clients Who Won’t Take a Meeting 

This is probably the most awkward scenario, at least for me.  If I was told by account manager that the client refused to have a meeting, I knew it was potentially over for that client.  It’s a big “finger” in the face.  If your client is to that point, it’s tough to do much about it.  Reaching out yourself may help save them, but in all likelihood, you are past the point of no return. 

I should mention, that in the things I have talk about here, we aren’t just talking about new clients.  The clients who have been with you for years can feel-less-than important too.  Keeping a strong account team is the difference between success and failure in my opinion.  Sales are critical, no question, but a solid account team is what will help you grow and retain those clients…never take your eye off the ball with respect to your account team.

Until next time,


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