Without sounding too clichéd; building relationships. It’s something I’ve always found to be the most useful part of business. I like to get the answers. I’m quite obsessive about getting the details right, and knowing who to speak to, and what to say to get those answers, is one of my favourite things
I started working in the channel around 2000. I managed to get a job with a company called IT Net. The company started out as Cadbury’s’ IT branch but grew to such a size that they started to outsource their services to huge councils. So, there I was, as part of the networking and server team for Peckham Council.
That was my first taste of IT in the channel, working for a pretty substantial service integrator. But at that stage, I didn’t quite understand the scale of the channel. It was only through working at a number of distributors and resellers in subsequent years that I really began to understand how much of a journey is required to take the product from the vendor’s product department to being fully integrated and used correctly by the partner.
As an Account Director, my job is to be the voice of the agency to the client and be the voice of the client within our agency. I need to communicate exactly what the client wants to achieve and make sure that we’re achieving it on our side.
My days consist of lots of meetings. I like to meet with all my clients at least weekly, especially when we’re running big campaigns, so we can regularly sync and ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s always easier for them to give honest feedback when you’ve built a rapport.
I also have plenty of internal meetings with the team too. I work closely with Emma, our Project Director, to match the needs of the client to the resources we have in the agency. This helps us to keep all our clients happy, while giving our team the space and time needed to produce our best work.
The best part about the role
Without sounding too clichéd; building relationships. It’s something I’ve always found to be the most useful part of business. I like to get the answers. I’m quite obsessive about getting the details right, and knowing who to speak to, and what to say to get those answers, is one of my favourite things. The only way to achieve all of that is through strong relationships.
Often, we only think of salespeople as the ones who are building relationships in a business, but in accounts, it’s almost more personal. Knowing [clients] personally helps you to be a better account director. If I know my contact’s kid is ill and off school this week, I’m not going to press them for answers and send them loads of emails. We’ll pick it back up at a time that works. It’s harder to know these things if you don’t forge these strong personal relationships first.
Cats, Cake and Cinema
I’m definitely a cat person. I’ve had cats for many, many years. My last cat was called Bill Purr. He was ginger (I named him after the comedian Bill Burr). My current cat is called Alfred Pennyworth, after Batman’s butler.
I’m a massive movie lover, so picking a favorite is tricky. I think for me it’s a toss-up between The Big Short and Moneyball. I am going to go for Moneyball. It’s a film I sometimes watch and think I’m going to fall asleep to. But I always end up watching every second. I love it because it doesn’t really have the standard formula of a movie—it isn’t really a happily ever after, but it does tie in with what we do, and how I work here. It’s all about how analysis, managing the details, and incremental gains can help you get ahead against the odds.
The Channel Agency: Purechannels