Hey everyone, welcome to part II of the ESC marketing group blog series! My name is Michael Shockley, I am a Sr. Account Manager & Business Development Coordinator for ESC. Our goal is to help our clients build relationships and create numerous ways to engage with their customers efficiently. As the Account Manager I have the task of building relationships with our existing customers and keeping them informed with company updates, account status and growth opportunities to enhance their business. It is also important to ensure new customers become familiar with our process and I understand their needs to better assist them and make sure I am helping them achieve the goals they are aiming for.
How did I end up in this position? What about ESC caught my attention?
The key word to the story of how I began working with ESC is ‘Networking’. While attending the Fox School of Business at Temple University the word ‘Networking’ tends to come up a lot. At the Fox School, they did a really great job of putting opportunities in front of students that allowed them to practice their networking skills and make connections with fellow students and external business individuals. I was in the Entrepreneurship Student Professional Organization (SPO) at Temple and we had speakers that would come on a weekly basis. It just so happened that Shawn Hiner who is the CEO of ESC Marketing Group came to speak to our organization and had a really interesting business model and explanation of how his company is strategically placed within the industry. After this initial connection I have to fast forward almost 5 years to where I now find myself in a role within his company.
Upon graduating from Temple University with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, I worked with Coca-Cola as an Account Development Manager and then was promoted to Business Development Manager. The difference between the two roles is that the first one was focused on internal growth of existing accounts and the next one focused on external growth and driving new business for the company. In addition to the corporate experience of managing customers, I also have my own business The Barber Shock LLC. that is positioned in the hair industry. I have been a barber for over 10 years and licensed for just under 1 year but I established my business within the industry in 2017. This experience has helped me gain experience in day to day client facing relationships and making data driven decisions within the industry.
Now that I have provided some background with my experience, I want to tie back in where it all started with ‘Networking’. Through a mutual friend I was reintroduced to Shawn almost 5 years later from our initial meeting with the opportunity to join his team. In the entrepreneurial lifestyle we are constantly meeting people, saving numbers and re-meeting people to already have their numbers. As you can imagine when I went to put his number in my phone for a follow up… I already had it! I was really impressed with the growth of Shawn and the ESC group since I was first introduced to the company and determined that with my experience I would be able to help accelerate the growth of the company.
What does Account Management mean to me?
One of the most important qualities of Account Management is ‘Ownership’. The definition of ownership is “the act, state, or right of possessing something.” As an account manager, I am the point of contact on behalf of the company to service the needs of the customers in every aspect. It is my duty to own these accounts and be the liaison for communication between the key functional areas of our business and the key decision makers of the client. It is important to understand the goals of the client and how that aligns with our company’s process in order for clients to achieve their goals.
There are times as an Account Manager that you will need to be available past business operating hours, certain occasions when you will need to be swift in your responses to a client to ensure that you reach a deadline. There will also be occasions when you will have to be transparent in communication if deadlines are not going to be met which means having a tough conversation with the client. It is important to understand that client needs will vary as well as level of communication that is needed. For instance, there might be a client that understands the process very well and will need little communication. On the opposite spectrum, there may be a client that needs more communication and a follow-up in order to understand the processes better and make sure deadlines/goals are achieved. All of these situations come with ‘Ownership’ and understanding that these accounts are in your possession and you are in charge of facilitating the successful management of these accounts.