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how to be a great account manager

The Secret to Being a Badass Account Manager

Account management can be akin to juggling randomly shaped objects whilst sprinting towards a finishing line in some sort of Rick and Morty-esque parallel universe athletics event scenario.

Basically, there’s a lot going on in the mind of an account manager. You have the strategy, tasks and goals of each of your clients rocking around in the old noggin, and it’s paramount that you consistently and effectively keep on top of EVERYTHINGGGGG if you want to succeed in the role.

This is how you do it…

Understand the clients and their objective in depth:

Before anything else, you need to get into the minutia of exactly what your clients do and what they wish to achieve. No detail is too small to overlook, as those fine points may be the inspiration to drive new ideas of how to progress.

You’d be amazed how many times a bit of conversation can unearth new strategies. The more clarity you have over what your client wants to achieve, the better you will be at providing the optimal strategy.

Be a quick and reliable communicator:

Clients will greatly appreciate quick responses when they encounter an issue. If you consistently respond to queries in a speedy fashion, the trust will be built up and clients will know you have their back.

There’s nothing worse for a client when they don’t seem like the priority, so make sure you always make them feel like they’re at the top of your task list.

Call > Email:

Although communication over email is a necessity at times, a phone call is million times better as you can build a rapport and a relationship. You simply can’t build that over email, no matter how many emojis or hahas you exchange with your recipient.

You should know the people you interact with on somewhat of a personal level. What they got up to on the weekend is a classic workplace conversation driver, and this will lead to knowing interests, finding common ground etc.

Rapport is a contributor to your trust factor as an account manager, and this is not built up as effectively over email.

Be proactive, not reactive:

We’ve established that you must be quick to respond to any issues a client has, but you also should be foreseeing scenarios or issues well in advance. A badass account manager will be well aware of potential future scenarios that could arise when conducting any campaign and know exactly how to react to them.

Ideally, you would want to reach a stage where a client is rarely contacting you first in any given scenario. They should never be chasing you and, even if there is a delay, they should already be well aware of it.

Be and stay organised:

Your organisational skills must be of the highest order. If a client calls you with a problem, you need to be able to access the relevant platform or software within seconds!

Be it access to Google Tag Manager, Facebook Business Manager or to the backend of a website, you need to be able to navigate to the correct location within a few clicks. So, make sure you know your logins like the back of your hand, or that your password management system is up to date and working like a dream.

Show passion and empathy

Clients are passionate about their businesses and you should be too. You want to be so passionate about a project that you should be either internally or externally shouting “Yippee!” every time you get a conversion. Whether it be 1 or 1000, yippees are always in order.

If a client sees your passion and that you’re willing to give blood, sweat and tears to reach the end goal, they’ll value you and the work you do a lot more than you realise.

Empathy is also a must. This will sound corny but putting yourself in the clients’ shoes is a must. If you wouldn’t be happy with the service you’re providing to your clients; a change needs to be made to ensure you are always thinking with the client in mind and thusly providing a stellar service.

Know your shit

The most badass account managers have supreme all-round knowledge in the area they are managing. You should rarely if ever, face a question in the workplace and utter the phrase “Ummm” unless a colleague asks you a ridiculous hypothetical like “would you rather forget who you were or who everyone else was?”

In any work-related situation, you should know exactly how and why you’re doing anything, or you’ll be able to quickly and correctly delegate to find the needed information.

It must be stressed that a lot of this knowledge comes with experience and having to deal with a range of situations, so attaining holistic knowledge of account managing is something that is time-sensitive as well.

Grow accounts

The mark of any great account manager is the ability to garner the growth of a client. You can take your client from A to B but what about C, D, E? Have these activities led to a surge in revenue? Because, despite all of the blood, sweat and tears, it all comes down to the bottom line.

If the activities you’re strategising as an account manager or not eliciting both short and long-term growth, then a great account manager you will not be.

Qasim Majid About the author
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