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The Six Traits of an Ideal Account Manager

One of the most important decisions that companies make is who they hire as manager. Yet 82 percent of the time companies get it wrong — they fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job. The businesses that get it right, however — the ones that hire managers based on talent — are more likely to thrive and gain a significant competitive advantage in their respective line of work.

Simply stated, an account manager is a “people person” — a liaison between a company and its customers. You could say that an account manager is another name for a customer relationship manager. He or she acquires new clients and maintains current ones. They work closely with clients to determine their needs, and then develop products or services that meet those needs. Their most fundamental job is to communicate. An account manager’s success depends on how good he or she is at networking, and building and sustaining relationships. Whether working with new leads or existing customers, account managers are constantly building relationships, providing value, and above all, listening. The ability to listen — to understand what a client needs, and then fulfill that need — is a highly sought-after trait.

Many companies promote their employees to managerial positions because they seemingly deserve it or have earned it, rather than because they have the talent for it. This isn’t the best approach to filling a managerial position. While experience and skills are undoubtedly important, it’s people’s talents — the naturally recurring patterns in the ways they think, feel, and behave — that determine whether they are the right person for the job. When considering the ideal candidate for an account manager position, we must first understand what talents are unique to great managers.

According to Gallup, great managers have the following five talents:

  • They motivate their employees to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
  • They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
  • They create a culture of clear accountability.
  • They build relationships that create trust, open dialogues, and full transparency.
  • They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.

These talents are the best predictors of good performance across all types of industries and managerial roles. While talent is innate, knowledge, experience, and skills are acquired over time and serve to complement the talent already present. Besides possessing the talents mentioned above, the ideal account manager should have the following skills:

  • Strong attention to relationships: The main purpose of any account manager’s role is to manage relationships. Account managers are the facilitators between a business and its clients. Clients need to be able to trust that their account manager has their best interests at heart, and the business should be assured that their account manager will act according to corporate goals and ethics.
  • Educated and industry-savvy: A good account manager is expected to be fluent in the industry in which he or she specializes.
  • Excellent communicator: Effective and clear communication is central to virtually everything an account manager does.
  • Flexible but tenacious: The ability to seamlessly change course, bounce back, adapt, and devise new solutions after setbacks.
  • Multitasker: Must be able to juggle multiple projects, deadlines, and budgets at the same time with poise.
  • Prioritization and delegation skills: Account managers are very busy. Part of being a manager is knowing when and how to prioritize workloads efficiently and delegate tasks to team members in order to streamline workflow.

ShiftWise partners with health systems to drive higher fill rates and improve the temporary labor programs that bring the talent to the healthcare workplace. Utilizing its tools and expertise, ShiftWise can match job candidates to the positions they fit best.


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