What makes a kick-ass Account Manager?

It’s no secret that the current job market is tough. But, if you’re a kick-ass Account Manager, chances are you still have great career opportunities with exceptional businesses that will still hire, right now.

Clients are continuing to tighten their budgets, make redundancies and with this added pressure, comes additional responsibilities for a “traditional” Account Manager. You now need to be able to do the role of two account service managers, in an effort to cut costs.

This can be a big ask for a relatively junior talent (3-4 years experience) and is usually a big factor as to why an Account Manager will switch to an in-house role, having been completely burnt out whilst working in a consultancy.

A kick-ass Account Manager (PR, Marketing or Advertising) has raw ambition, a great attitude and will be hungry for a new challenge (and higher salary!).

They are always in demand and to really highlight what I mean by “kick-ass”, I’d like to refer to a recent conversation that I had with my mentor (GM of a national PR agency) about the difficulties of attracting and retaining good Account Mangers.

I asked the question, “What makes you want to hire them?” This was our discussion and is highly relevant to all account service talent across PR, marketing, advertising and digital.

Manage your own accounts

The biggest component and deciding factor in hiring a new staff member at account management level is knowing if they will be able to manage their own accounts with minimal input from their manager.

Write well

A kick-ass Account Manager must have solid research skills, excellent grammar, fully understand the subject they are writing about, and understand their target audience. They’re creative, imaginative and also have the ability to accept criticism.

Manage events from go to whoa

A kick-ass Account Manager will have excellent time management skills, communicate clearly to stakeholders and thrive on attention to detail. They are a problem solver, a project manager and can roll up their sleeves to get their hands dirty when required.

Be able to mentor and manage junior staff

They listen. Guide. Support. A kick-ass Account Manager can not only manage clients well, but is also a good manager of people and has the ability to effectively manage a team.

Be able to put a document together and pitch

- Be brief and be clear
- A good pitch is a short pitch
- Pay attention to detail
- Get to the point quickly!

A good Account Manager will be able to articulate in two sentences the problem/solution and nail it. Not a good public speaker? Practice!

Be able to manage a meeting

Provide pre-work, plan and participate.

We can all hand out a stack of notes/slides to review during a meeting, but a good Account Manager will send these to the attendants 24 hours before the meeting for review. They set goals for the meeting and know what they want to achieve. They plan ahead and define clearly the topics they wish to address. Participation is key and a kick-ass Account Manager will ensure that all attendants are included and that questions/topics are delegated fairly.

In a nutshell, if you are a passionate, proficient and hard-working talent that can manage other people, you’re going places!

If you’re looking for Account Management job opportunities, check out our job listings around the world on our website. Find out what you’re worth here $$$

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(7) Readers Comments

  1. Pingback: What makes an exceptional Marketing Manager?, Career

  2. Great post, now you’ve just added more things for me to build on before graduate date!
    Thanks for sharing =)

    • Thanks! Get in touch with me if you need any helpful tips to get your “foot in the door” after graduation….

      AO

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  5. oo often, managers do all the talking in a feedback situation, something I like to call the dreaded Manager’s Monologue – and that is guaranteed to cause trouble. It is vital to engage the employee in open dialogue; to seek to understand their thought processes and reasons. If you don’t listen to them, you may not get a clear understanding as to why the employee is behaving in this manner (do they lack skills, knowledge, etc). You will also increase the likelihood that they will not listen to you.*

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