The role of an Account Manager can be varied to say the least. No two clients are the same and they all have different requirements and expectations. Not forgetting the wide range of projects which may land on your desk! The following six steps can help you along the way to becoming a great Account Manager.
1. Having Background and Industry Knowledge
This point is all about experience, the more clients and projects you work with, the more valuable knowledge you’ll gather. It is definitely a huge advantage when you have a clear understanding of each client’s individual terminology and working history, but this won’t come over night. What you can do in the meantime is study their industry – this will give you key insights which will inevitably help you with the managing of the account. Having this background knowledge will also give you the upper hand as you’ll be able to make educated recommendations to your client, ultimately gaining their valuable trust and respect.
2. Being Personable And Empathetic
It goes without saying that as an Account Manager you’ll be working very closely with your clients. Daily messaging, phone calls and meetings will be a huge part of your role, so it’s very important that you show your personable side. It’s key to remember that your clients are human beings, as are you – so let them see a bit of your personality. Essentially, as an Account Manager you are the middle man between the client and your company – therefore it’s key to build a strong working relationship. Also, you’ll be working with these individuals for extended periods of time in some cases so you will want to invest in this relationship from the get go.
Throughout any relationship you are guaranteed to come across some hiccups along the way. When faced with a client conflict or issue, you want to resolve it as quickly as possible to limit the damage. Always be empathetic when receiving a complaint, you want your client to be confident that you understand their issue and that you know how to resolve it. Work with them to come up with a solution together, so you can be sure that it will be in line with their expectations.
3. Embrace The Variations Of Your Role
Inevitably you are going to find yourself working with a multitude of projects and people. Rather than feeling like you must be an expert in a particular field, embrace working on things a little out of your comfort zone. The more you expand your skills the more valuable you’ll become, so embrace the new! This aspect of your role should definitely be seen as an advantage, as it is a chance for you to explore and absorb new information and widen your skill set.
4. Being A Good Listener
As an Account Manager, a key skill you’ll need to pick up quickly (if you haven’t already) is listening. You may think this is something that comes naturally, but it can take some practice to really get to grips with what effective listening is. You’ll need to listen closely to take briefs which include key information integral to the project, make notes of all client requirements so that you can refer back to these, be prepared to take on feedback and action it.
5. Organisation skills
As you can expect, an Account Manager needs to be very organised. There will be many dates, deadlines and projects in which you will need to have a hold of. A lot of planning goes into being a great Account Manager, you’ll need to organise and prepare internal teams, contractors and even the client at times. Essentially you want to be highly skilled at planning to always be one step ahead of the client in terms of their needs. You want to be pre-empting their queries and you absolutely want to avoid nasty surprises such as sudden tight deadlines.
It’s good to continually search and find ways which will help you to stay organised. There’s many different programs and software out there that can assist you – Basecamp, Wrike, Highrise and even the basics such as calendars and set reminders will be of great benefit. Find what suits you and your client best – remember that sometimes it’s not one for all, you may find yourself using different ways of organising per client.
6. Good articulation
Good articulation is essential when it comes to dealing with your clients. You are the middle man; therefore it is imperative that you represent your company in a good way throughout all communication. Articulating well can make your life much easier when broaching tricky subjects. The way you write or say things to the client can really impact their reaction. You want to be able to communicate in a way which deters any friction or negativity and ultimately results in a harmonious working relationship.
By sticking by these simple steps, you can be sure you’ll be on your way to becoming a great Account Manager. The key things to remember are that you are representing your company to all of your clients all of the time, that your clients are human beings – just like you and to always plan be organised. Also, one last extra tip; be passionate about your work! Strive to be better and you’ll soon exceed expectations.
Our Account Management team is here to ensure that you have the best possible experience with Identity. If you would like to book a meeting or arrange an account review, please feel free to contact us either by phone on 01323 469111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.