Don’t confuse the role of an Account Manager and a Project Manager
In my 10 years experience in the agency world, one thing I quickly learned is the difference between an Account Manager (AM) and Project Manager (PM). Also, how difficult it is to find a great Account Manager (aka Account Executive as some other agencies refer to them). I have worked with countless AMs. Most were very pleasant and fun to work with. But unfortunately those qualities do not always translate to a great account person.
An AM is relationship focused. It’s their job to strategize and obtain the goals and objectives of the project, to think for the client. A PM is project/task focused, they execute and oversee the project/tasks.
In order to be a great Account Manager you need to possess the following 5 attributes:
1. KNOWLEDGE OF CLIENT’S INDUSTRY
It’s not enough to know the basics of your client’s industry, you need to master it and that takes drive. Do the research and leg work yourself, do not let your client teach you. Be knowledgeable of the client’s competition and what they’re doing in comparison. Otherwise, how else will you stay on top of what their needs are to offer guidance?
2. CUSTOMER SERVICE
And I mean good Customer Service. Building and maintaining a successful relationship founded on trust, honesty and integrity is essential to a healthy partnership. You can be as detail oriented as they come but it will not make a difference without a solid relationship with your client. Seriously, I’ve worked with very talented and driven people and their only vice was their lack of quality client relationships – deal breaker if you want to be an Account Manager.
4. BEING PROACTIVE & GOAL ORIENTED
Knowing when an important article about your client’s industry pops up before your client does means you are ahead of the game and are proactively looking out for their best interest. Being the eyes and ears for your client while clearly understanding their goals will set you apart and keep you relevant and in the driver’s seat.
5. RESULTS DRIVEN
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