Account management is no simple task – it’s fast-paced and sometimes stressful – and it may not be for everyone. It requires wearing many different hats and balancing the demands of your clients and the resources of the agency. Being in account management of an advertising agency for several years now, it’s become very clear that there are definite traits needed to be a successful account manager.
Here are four qualities that every good account manager should have:
Whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, writing an email or talking on the phone, good account managers need to communicate effectively, not only with their clients but with their own team as well. An account manager is responsible for understanding a clients’ needs so being able to actively listen during meetings and ask appropriate questions is critical. Likewise, communicating your clients’ needs to your team internally is equally as important in order to develop an appropriate plan of action and deliver services that meet the clients’ expectations. Being clear and thorough in all communication every step of the way is an invaluable trait of a good account manager.
In account management you’re likely juggling multiple projects with various clients all at the same time. There are many meetings, deadlines and project details to keep track of and in order to stay on top of it all, being well-organized is necessary. A great account manager has the ability to multi-task, keeps detailed notes and checklists, stays up-to-date on projects throughout all phases of production and prioritizes tasks as needed to make sure all projects are completed on time.
An account manager should be a problem solver. As the client’s main point of contact, you are often presented with problems and expected to provide solutions. Account managers need to be willing and able to address challenges and help clients overcome them. Great account managers, however, don’t just put out “fires” as they arise, they take a proactive approach. The best account managers are critical thinkers. They have frequent discussions with their clients about their overall goals and make recommendations for them to achieve the best results before a “fire” ever occurs.
As an account manager, you’re interfacing with many different people on a daily basis. A good account manager should be skilled in collaboratively working with co-workers in all agency departments as well as the client’s full marketing team to achieve set objectives. A great account manager has a supportive team-player attitude, is personable and approachable and someone that others find ease in working with.
Being an effective account manager requires a unique combination of personality and skills. You have to be able to speak knowledgeably about many different topics even if you’re not an expert in the field. These four traits aren’t the only thing that goes into account management, but are key to successfully maintaining long-term relationships with your clients.