Respond to your clients
It might sound simple but it is key to make sure you respond to your clients when you see an email. If you are going to be able to answer their query in the next couple of hours then it’s safe to wait until you answer (unless it is an urgent request). If it is something you need to get further input from and will take longer than a few hours, let your client know you’ve seen their message and are working on it for them.
A simple “Hello name thanks for sending this through, I just need to chat to the team about this but I’ll come back to you as soon as possible” will let them know you are on the case. This should put them at ease and hopefully stop them chasing you, which might result in them feeling a little neglected.
Be the client in the office
As an Account Manager, you are effectively the “client in the office”. Make sure you know your client and their brand. If you think they wouldn’t like an idea or piece of work, say something and stop it before it gets to them. Remember, any comments they have will be something you have to deal with and we all prefer a happy client!
Give as much information as you can at the start of any project to make sure all ideas and work produced are in line with the client’s needs and business. The more you can filter before work hits the clients desk, the more trust the client will have in you and the work you and your team produce.
Gannt charts are your friend
They might be difficult to set up at the start and are sometimes completely forgotten about but a good Gantt chart can be super useful in letting everyone know what is going to happen and when. It is also great when it comes to monthly reporting as you have a document on the planned activity for any given month.
I’ll scratch your back…
Don’t be afraid to help out. By this I don’t mean doing someone else’s work for them or stepping on anyone’s toes but if someone is struggling and you can make it easier for them, do so. If you can get answers to questions before they are asked or look for the answer to a query yourself do it and save someone else time.
If you can help a colleague out when they need it most you might just see your work getting done quicker as a result!
You can’t be an effective AM without communication. It is key, both internally and externally. But remember, a good AM is a thoughtful listener as well as a well-positioned advisor. When discussing the team make sure you talk as though you’re a team. Use “we” instead of “I” and “you”. At the end of the day, everyone is working together to get the best results for the client.
Another communication tip is to make sure your clients know what is going on before it happens. This is especially important when you are going to be on holiday, let them know a few days in advance in case they have any questions, don’t let them simply receive your out of office when they need you!. Also, make sure they have a contact for when you’re away and provide them with a list of what you expect to be completed during that time.
The same applies for your colleagues, go round and speak to each one named in your handover notes and check they are happy with what they are tasked with. That way everyone is happy with what is going to happen in your absence and you can enjoy your holiday more knowing everything is in hand.
All Account Managers have their own processes for being a great AM and an individual style. These are just my top 5. It would be great to hear what you think makes an effective AM.