Your work title is Account Manager, but in reality you’re an extinguisher of fires, a people pleaser and the mastermind of timelines, deadlines, projects and more. You’re the liaison between the client and the agency, and the truest of true representation of your company. So how do you ensure you are always putting your best foot forward? Follow these five R’s and you’ll be on the right track to being an A+ Account Manager.
Really, Really, REALLY Organized.
As an Account Manager, you’re just that – a manager of an account – so it is your responsibility to know where all things are at all times. Keep track of jobs and conversations in a spreadsheet, a Word document, even a traditional notebook – whatever it is, constantly update it, reference and live by it. Whatever system works for you, run with it. In being a master organizer, you will not only gain your client’s confidence because they know their account is in good hands, you will also be more efficient—saving the client time and money, and freeing up your time to be more profitable to the agency elsewhere.
We’ve all done it. A client request comes through and you get working on it. Days later while the project is in full swing on your end, the client is wondering if their email got lost in email purgatory. Don’t forget to respond to your client! Acknowledge the receipt of every request, even with a simple, “Thank you!” Some companies have a 24-hour policy where you must respond to all emails within a 24 hour timeframe. If the company you work for doesn’t have such a policy, set your own rule. At the end of each day, set aside 15 – 20 minutes to go through your inbox and make sure you have responded to anything and everything that needs an acknowledgement.
It might not seem like your clients appreciate it when you need to tell it to them straight, but trust me, being realistic (or honest or transparent) will keep you in good standing over the long haul. Sometimes client expectations can be totally out of sync with the project scope or budget; and you don’t ever want to be in a situation where you over-promise and under-deliver. If your client makes a request that is unattainable, respectfully share why it cannot be done, and offer a compromise solution. At the end of the day, your client will appreciate your realistic approach to problem-solving, and they will feel like they were heard when you provide an alternative solution.
Building relationships is key to being a successful Account Manager. You want your client to rely on you, and think of you as more than just a vendor. Get to know your client beyond your work relationship. A simple tip for building deeper relationships is to document conversations outside of work-talk and reference them frequently in future conversations. Ask about their family, pets and weekend plans. Small talk while you are waiting for others to join a conference call is always easier if you have taken the time to get to know your clients. You can talk about yourself too – but not too much!
Last, but probably the most important, is to be respectful. I said it once and I will say it again: you are a representative of your agency, so professionalism at all times is key. And unfortunately, with the prevalence social media, that professionalism extends beyond just the work place. Be careful what you post on social. If you wouldn’t want your mom reading your status update, you should probably not post it; after all, your client could stumble upon that post and it could mean bad things for both you and the agency. And in the vein of being professional, dress to impress. When going to a client meeting, in any situation, it’s better to overdress than underdress.
Think you have what it takes to be an Account Manager at Pierry ? We are always looking for great talent. Check out our careers page to learn more about our open positions.