10 transferable skills for Agency Account Management roles
Working in Agency Account Management is varied, meticulous and sometimes exciting, no two days are ever likely to be the same. It requires an individual that is flexible and adaptable. Due to the versatile nature of the role, an aspiring Account Manager must have a broad scope of skills that make them a good ‘all-rounder’.
What is Account Management?
An Account Manager’s job revolves around managing one or more clients. They nurture existing client relationships and manage the day to day operations of client projects or campaigns. As they become more experienced they will take client briefs, work with clients strategically, organically grow their client accounts and be part of a pitch team for new accounts.
Day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Serving as the main point of contact for clients
- Keeping on top of emails, phone calls and any other communications with clients
- Build and maintain trusted relationships with key accounts
- Make sure that client/project goals and deadlines are met
- Track and measure key account metrics
- Construct reports on account stats to keep the team up-to-date
- Liaise with internal stakeholders such as creatives, project managers and account directors
We’ve put together 10 of the most important skills for an aspiring Account Manager to have. If any of these skills sound like you, get in touch with our team and we’ll make sure to get you fighting fit and ready for interview.
An Agency Account Manager will usually be responsible for several clients at a time. The ability to juggle multiple responsibilities is essential to the role. If you’ve experienced the struggle of working part-time jobs through uni, you’re probably well-equipped to handle juggling multiple responsibilities in a challenging role.
‘Agency land is fast-paced and hard work. Working through uni in a fast-paced and busy part-time job can be more helpful than you might think.’ – Phil Cookson
- Time management
Having excellent time management skills is crucial for an Account Manager. The role requires you to be very organised and you need to make sure deadlines are met. It’s important that you respond to clients as promptly as possible, as you are the one responsible for making sure they are confident in the agency.
As an Account Manager, you will occasionally have to deal with difficult clients. For instance, a client may want you to deliver unrealistic deadlines for less money than the project or campaign will cost the agency. It’s your job to negotiate with the client to find the best outcome for everyone involved.
Empathy is an integral part of being able to build and maintain long-lasting client relationships. You need to be able to put yourself in the clients’ shoes. Work to understand their concerns, needs and the goals they wish to achieve through the project or campaign.
- Office skills
Agency studios are office based, so office skills are essential. You need to be well-versed in organisation, people skills and, of course, knowing your way around a spreadsheet. A good understanding of Microsoft Office is essential, although you’ll also learn about bespoke industry software such as AdJob, Synergist or JobBag (LINKS) or Agile methodology.
- Listening skills
Account management is all about relationships. In order to properly understand the needs of each individual client, you need to listen to what they have to say. You need to keep in mind that you will be managing multiple clients at once; people will be able to tell if you’re providing generic feedback. You need to make sure that your communication with clients always relates to them as individuals. Be as personable as possible.
- An interest in marketing, advertising or the creative industry
There are a number of agency sectors; Digital, Integrated, PR, Media etc, in all of them it is important that you have a genuine interest in their area of specialism in order to understand the type of work that is being delivered to the clients you’re managing.
‘One of the questions that often gets asked at entry level interviews is to talk through a campaign you love or loathe and why. Generally speaking, with this type of question they are looking at your thinking. There are no right or wrong answers and they don’t have to agree with you, but you have to show well thought out reasoning.’ – Julie Ollerton
Good communication is of paramount importance. Clients must be kept up-to-date consistently with what stage the project or campaign is up to, how it is performing and plans for future work. Both written and verbal communication skills are equally important, as you will be emailing and calling multiple people on a regular basis.
As with any management role, you need to be proactive. It’s up to you to know when to contact clients with updates, when you need to construct reports and when to pursue a new business opportunity. Other members of the team will be busy working on the campaign or project, so you need to make sure you’re highly organised.
- Ability to handle pressure
Managing several accounts can make for a very busy working day! As we previously mentioned, the ability to multitask and negotiate will be extremely beneficial towards being able to handle the pressure of the role. You’ll occasionally have to deal with things going wrong. It’s important that you maintain a positive approach to how you navigate problems, as you are representing the company.
Want to know more about the role?
It may be the case that you’re looking to get into account management but don’t have much experience yet. If so, we strongly advise getting industry placements wherever possible. No matter how brief your placement is, it will be beneficial for honing your skills.
If you’re interested in account management or want to find out more about the role, our friendly team is always here to answer any questions you may have and you could always consider coming along to attend our new Handle This event for Account Handlers – https://creativeresource.co.uk/event/handle-this
Give us a call on 0161 477 3221 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org