As an account manager, are you wondering where your responsibilities begin and end? The job duties are slightly different from one organization to the next. But, handling specific parts of the job well will mean the difference between simply keeping a client on life support and helping them flourish into a key account.
You can start to meet one of your goals, retaining client business, as soon as the contract is signed. Touch base with your account rep to find out what they’ve learned about the new client during the sales process. For example, if you’re in the food supply industry, your new restaurant client may be particularly worried about quality.
When you first reach out to them, assure them that you’ll be monitoring food quality for them. Then, establish benchmarks with them. If their goal is to save 5% of food costs while still maintaining quality, talk with them about how to measure that goal. Agree on a schedule. Then circle back around at the specified time and ask how well they are doing. These scheduled communication touch points give you a valid reason to make contact. You can use these connections to learn more about the client and that information will help you reach another important milestone.
As you learn about your clients, you should also be learning about the industry. Have there been big changes in how products are delivered? In the food supply industry, hot menu trends come along every year. Your client needs to know about these trends before their competitors do. When you maintain a consistent communication schedule with a client, your attempts at upselling won’t seem bold and out-of-the-blue. They’ll want what you are offering because they trust you. They've seen how you’ve been trying to help them on a regular basis.
Stay positive when you communicate with your clients, whether it’s on the phone or in an email. Emphasize how you can help them and then follow through. Before you know it, your clients will believe you and your company are indispensable to their success.