Are you an Account Manager Ninja?
I’ve been overwhelmed with positive comments (and some shitty ones) for my recent article on Linked-in.
It’s called “I’m pissed off. What every account manager needs but doesn’t get”.
Not only have I received a surge in connection requests but also lovely heartfelt messages empathising with what I wrote.
It seems despite some agencies investing in good account management training, too many are still way behind the times.
But probably the most moving message I received was this one:
I am mainly reaching out just to say this post means the world to someone close to me and I really appreciate you sharing your experience.
My youngest brother has just started out, and had his first real taste of agency account exec life during his placement year. Reading it was like an exact account of some of his challenges. I shared it with him and it has really calmed him down during a tough period of entirely self-taught processes, natural client mishaps and non-existent induction.
It’s messages like this that make it all worthwhile.
I’ll continue to support account managers as long as it makes a positive impact.
When you’re starting your career, you feel a bit vulnerable sometimes.
You enter the workplace and when you start in a fast-paced agency where everything needs to run perfectly but everyone’s moving at 100 miles an hour, you can feel like it’s a baptism of fire.
When your job is to manage a client relationship, it starts to feel personal too.
You’ll probably go through a stage of asking yourself some questions.
Will they like me?
Will I be able to answer their questions?
What if they ask me something I don’t know?
What does the agency expect of me?
What the hell should I be saying to them?!
Fundamentally, an account manager’s role is to ensure the agency keeps and grows the account.
This means constantly delivering value to the client, building trust and consistently providing a high quality service.
But an account manager should also be strategic with how they develop and grow the relationship with the client.
This means acquiring enough commercial understanding of how the agency runs so you are ‘growing’ as well as ‘managing’ the account.
Growing the account starts with asking your client some quality questions.
What is your client hoping you can help them with?
What problem are you solving for them?
What challenges are they facing right now that you could be helping solve for them?
What is your company doing well for your client right now?
What could you be doing a lot better?
Remember, if you’re not asking your client quality questions, you’re likely not to be understanding them or their world.
So are you asking your client these questions?
If not and you’re curious what else you could be doing to grow your client account, then start by auditing your client development skills.
UPDATE: Unfortunately the quiz is not available at present but if you’re looking to improve your account management skills and grow business, download my free 5 step client development model.