“Adapt. React. Readapt. Apt.” Michael Scott’s words have never been truer. In marketing, there is no secret sauce or magic potion. You must try something once, and if it doesn’t work, try something else until you find a winning formula. Adapting to what is going on and what is working is key to the success of any client-facing business. As an account manager, it is our job to seek out the most effective strategies for managing your clients and communicate those strategies clearly to them.
I have learned many different ways to earn the trust and respect of clients, and I’ve condensed them down into three major methods:
- Over-Communicate: Simply sending out an email sharing something that may benefit them,or calling them just to see how they are doing, will go a long way in developing a relationship.
- Come prepared: When getting on the phone, meeting in person, or even over email, you MUST be prepared. Have all of your data ready, study up, and be prepared for any questions they may have. That help builds a trust like no other. When you can give knowledgeable and honest insight into how a client is doing, it is priceless for them and will help them validate why they’re spending money to work with you over your competitor.
- Listen: Perhaps the most important step in any job. It sounds so easy, but for some, this is their biggest downfall. Just listening to what the client wants or is trying to achieve is going to do wonders for you in the long run. Especially in an agency setting, it is vital that you often take a step back and listen to what your client really needs.
I liken managing clients to playing the drums. Back in my heyday I was known to “hit the skins” from time to time (that’s a hip term for playing the drums). Before my knees hurt when I got out of bed and when I had a lot more hair, I would either break out my practice pad to work on rudiments or go all out and get behind my drum set to play along to some of my favorite songs every single day. I learned to adapt to changing melodies, songs, and tempos. Every song required a different style. I was required to come prepared and to listen to the music to see what fit, and I think the same can be said about managing accounts and managing personalities. Every song, or client, is different, and should be treated as such–and if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the challenge that comes along with it.
Managing clients can be tricky, but the very best piece of advice I can give you is to just be yourself! Who does it better than you?