Power in Numbers: Lending Support and Leaning on Others

November 23, 2021

Angela Zilm

As an Account Director at Impact XM, Angela Zilm has led new business in the aviation and aerospace industry and had a strong foothold working with clients in luxury retail with one of the top consumer brands. She brings more than 12 years of experience collaborating with clients and managing their experiential marketing and event programs.

We all love when a project is successfully completed on time, on budget, as envisioned and of course, with a huge return on investment. It’s even better if we can take all the credit for it, but let’s be honest, it takes a strong team of skilled individuals to pull this off. There are hundreds of moving parts, each with its unique intricacies, that make it impossible for one person to do it all. Some of the best projects that I’ve worked on are a result of the team in place and talents that everyone can bring to the table.

Lending Support

I’m not an estimator, or a project manager, or a designer, but I’m a good listener. This is a valuable trait that is often overlooked although critical for sales success. Once a project launches, it’s all-hands-on-deck. The clock begins to tick at a pace that seems to speed up as we near completion, and even with the best planning efforts in place, something inevitably needs to happen at the eleventh hour. How can I help in situations like this or offer support? I ask my team questions, I do a daily check-in, and not over email, over the phone. I want to hear their voices, their tone, get a sense of how they are feeling and listen to how they are handling the project. 

Oftentimes, that one phone call will open up a conversation for ways we can work together to create greater efficiencies. I discover that I can take on more tasks or go back to the client for more information to support the team, even if it’s simply which rental piece of furniture they prefer or if they’re on target to meet a graphic deadline. By listening and offering help, everyone involved feels better about the impending deadline, and there is a greater confidence in one another no matter the circumstance or situation.

Leaning on Others

In the world of experiential marketing, trade shows and live events, one can get buried in the layers and levels involved. We think we need to just keep our head down, get the work done and only take a breath once it’s all over. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been able to help clients hit their budgets by reviewing pricing with my account and project management team, discussing areas we can improve on. The key is to have varying perspectives and use the knowledge of others to be more resourceful. 

Asking questions collectively has brought about significant cost savings for clients which creates greater client loyalty and stronger client relationships. This trust and strengthened connection allow my clients to also lean on me for guidance on how best to invest their marketing spend for the year as well as inquire about strategic ways they can leverage their brand. By being open and sharing with your team, greater ideas are shared, and everyone feels more inspired and excited about the project. 

Overall, I’ve learned through my years in sales and marketing that communication is essential, and finding allies in those around you, along with cross-functional teams, equates to overall success. Working in silos is always the most comfortable place to be. It’s just you, everything is controlled, and you are the main person managing a project, but the opportunity to grow and network does not happen in that setting. 

It is critical for career growth and development to move out of your comfort zone and see the power in numbers and to choose to work in larger groups. Sometimes the last person you would think of is the one person who offers up the greatest insight. We’re all working together to get the job done, and the more we collaborate, brainstorm and discuss, the greater the evolution from inception to execution.  

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

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