Arguably, there are many different things that make someone a good account manager. If there is just one thing that is most important, I think it’s being organized. This is something I learnt from Mechie – my boss at TYA, at my second year of suiting.
This is how she worked:
- Maintained a list of WIP projects that we ran through with internal teams and with clients weekly.
- Sent WIP emails to every clients on Monday with breakdown for their particular projects, including what has been done, what is next in line and what we need from client to proceed (highlighted in Red) – then follow up with a call if we need client’s answer urgently. This is a more detailed piece of communication, apart from the WIP list.
- Focused on getting all work done in the morning: she came really early to clear her emails, checked the projects’ progresses, briefed in new projects, set up and prepared for meetings, etc and etc. Because of this routine, we often worked in the office in the morning and had meetings at the client’s office in the afternoon and ended up drinking after meetings. Not everyday, but pretty much most of the time.
- Spent an hour after client briefing to break down the information into bullet points, categorizing them into groups. She’d then clarify her questions with the client, created the brief and briefed in the team.
- Mechie preferred talking to client and sent an email to follow up with a recap.
- No matter how the content of the email is about, her emails are always written with bullet points and a clear indication of what needs to be done and who is in charge.
These seem to be Account Management 101 straight from a textbook, but trust me it’s really not easy to stick with this basis day to day, especially when dealing with a such huge amount of work that as a result we have to take shortcuts.
Having said that, Mechie has many other qualities that I have learnt from. She is a role model and undoubtedly had such a huge influence on how I work today. Like one of my ex-colleagues often said to me “what will Mechie do in this situation?”.
Sometimes, I wonder if everyone has a Mechie of their own?