It’s seven thirty in the morning and you’re already at your desk making your to-do list (or checking things off), reviewing the status of current deadlines and making sure to keep new and upcoming projects on your radar. You’re one of the first people in the office and getting in early will ensure that your day goes exactly as planned, right? Not exactly.
As an account manager, it’s hard to predict what each day or week will look like. No matter how much you prepare, situations inevitably come up that throw off your plan (and this should not always be looked at as a negative). And if you’re the right person for the job, this should excite you. You’re a master juggler and can handle any situation that arises internally or externally. Using your people management skills is what you excel at and one of the primary reasons you have the job.
So, what does an account manager do on a daily basis that will help the agency’s internal teams and clients succeed while managing the unknown? It starts with understanding how to build relationships, and making sure you do each of the following regularly.
Communicate with internal teams
People are the anchor of your agency’s and clients’ success, and staying close to them and the projects not only shows that you care but helps build trust and confidence.
I recommend checking in with your teams early in the day and asking the following questions:
- Are we on track to hit deadlines?
- Did anything come up that could impact delivery?
- Are there any suggestions you have to improve the project?
- Is there anything we discovered that could help us improve efficiency?
- What did we learn from this project/campaign?
Remember: The way you approach these questions is key. Make sure it’s clear that you’re there to help.
Get organized for the client
Now that you understand where projects stand with your internal teams, it’s important to go back to your notes, make sure the progress is aligned with the desired outcome and be able to effectively communicate with the client to set their expectations. Take the following steps to prepare for client interaction:
- Touch base with your project manager and update schedules if necessary
- Update client status reports
- Send follow-up emails (this could be internally or to the client)
It’s also crucial to think about the conversations you just had with your internal teams. Did they bring up valid points that could help improve the project? Did they provide any ideas you think are a good fit for the client’s business? Will their suggestions help reach business goals?
As an account manager, it’s your responsibility to bridge the gap between your internal teams and the client, so take note of these points and bring them up with the client when the time is appropriate.
One of the greatest compliments a client can give you is that they view your agency as a business partner. Achieving this requires being able to execute at the highest level and think strategically.
It can be difficult to get out of the weeds and details of the projects you are responsible for, but taking the time and effort to focus strategically (instead of only tactically) will pay off. To do this, I find myself asking the following questions:
- What’s next?
- How can I stay ahead of the client’s needs?
- How is our work impacting the brand?
The closer you are to the overarching business goals, the better your work and relationship will be.
A day in the life of an account manager can be unpredictable – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to tackle the unpredictable effectively. Make an effort to do these three things regularly, and you, your client and internal teams will be set up for ongoing success.