5.16.17

Thinking and Acting Differently to be a Better Account Manager.

BY JENSEN SMITH

5 ways to improve your account management skills.

I think at this point, most people know what an account manager does. Or, maybe I’m just getting better at explaining what my job role is. Or, maybe strangers just politely nod in understanding more often than I realize.

This list of tips can help account managers think and act different to ultimately be a better strategic partner and employee. If you got butterflies at the word “list,” then you’re already off to a great start! I’d also like to point out that I crowd-sourced this advice from the best in the business. Get ready. 

  1. Have patience – It seems like a given, but account managers must tap into a special kind of patience. We exist to help clients and coworkers do the best jobs they can. If that means explaining things a few times or reminding people of due dates, then it must be done. We have to be able to navigate tough and busy situations all while keeping a cool head. We’re the leaders of our accounts and sometimes that requires a few extra deep breaths and additional explanations.
     
  2. Make everyone’s job easier – Account managers don’t just have external clients; their role is to also serve the internal clients aka fellow employees. If an email, conversation or meeting creates more questions and more obstacles for those involved, you are not doing your job. If a designer is confused about the expectations and goals of a project, you are not doing your job. Having a “How can I help?” attitude is a full-time role and it’s the only way to ensure success across the board.
     
  3. Over communicate – Say it once, say it again, say it one more time… then follow up with an email. No one is perfect. Everyone forgets conversations and details in exchanges. Don’t be timid to repeat and remind. Overcommunication is also crucial when you identify an issue. Get in front of it by calling your client directly and talking with them about the situation. More than likely, this will build trust and flexibility in the ongoing relationship. 
     
  4. Manage your stress – There are two ways this can be achieved. 1) Get ahead of your day. Carve out 30 minutes in the morning to clean up your to-do list and answer important emails. Don’t let administrative tasks get in the way of more urgent account work. 2) Don’t take things too personally. Sometimes emotions get in the way of smart, productive interactions. A great account leader can separate stress and emotions from managing barriers and getting things done.
     
  5. “Yes” isn’t always the answer – As account managers, our nature is to say “yes” to any client request. We want to check things off our list and we want to be as helpful as possible. However, one of our own account managers said recently, “strategic thinking is the best way to approach hard challenges.” The moment we only say “yes” to situations, we are no longer consultative. Clients hire agencies to think outside the box and push back when there could be another way. No one ever hated a better idea. 
Jensen Smith
written by JENSEN SMITH

Jensen is an account manager at Carbon8. Her experience includes marketing communications with an emphasis on branding, digital and traditional advertising and media relations. She is results-oriented with a passion for client service and coming up with creative solutions.

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