Working in a role that requires a lot of face-to-face client interaction can be a varied and rewarding experience, though not one suited to everyone. It can be hard working with numerous different clients with specific goals, but the personal and professional rewards are significant, and many account executives and managers enjoy the challenge.
Speaking to people from all sorts of backgrounds and selling yourself really has to be be something you enjoy. If you’re considering applying for or starting a new job that requires a lot of client interaction then think about the advantages and disadvantages it will provide first.
Pros: Flexible Role
Working in a client-facing role requires a lot of flexibility and presents plenty of opportunity to grow and expand your skill set. Clients can be unpredictable so adapting to changing situations is key to keeping them happy. This role should prevent boredom as working with each different client presents numerous challenges, with each one looking for unique services and a different skill set. Being flexible will help your own career develop as you can show the many tasks you’ve undertaken and companies worked with.
Build Great Relationships
If you’re a real people person and enjoy talking to businesspeople from all backgrounds, then working in client-facing roles is for you. There’s more to it than just having the gift of the gab, though; you need to build a relationship based on trust to ensure they continue to spend their time and money on your services. When you’ve built up one strong business relationship it will be easier to forge more, and if you change jobs you may be able to take their business with you.
Cons: Standing Out
Particularly when seeking new business, or dealing with clients looking to pull away, there will be a lot more pressure for you to stand out and show your company provides the best option. This can be difficult when a lot of businesses essentially deliver the same service, but even if you don’t believe your company is the best, the onus will be on you to secure their business. Getting the balance right can be tricky.
As one of the only people dealing face-to-face with clients, there is a lot of pressure to be extremely professional at all times. Dealing with difficult customers and remaining calm can be hard, along with remembering the correct details for each one. You need to be able to keep a cool head and be alert, on top of your game at all times to succeed in such a position.
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