Be the Concierge of your clients: How to become a 5-Star Key Account Manager

9/12/2015

An excellent Account Manager has to be a real partner and trusted advisor for his clients. When thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that a great metaphor for an ideal Account Manager is the Concierge of a 5-Star hotel.

That’s why I decided to interview 5 concierges in 5-Star Hotels in several European countries to tell me what they thought were the habits that made them special. And here they are:

Habit 1: Listen

Excellent Account Managers, as 5-Star concierges, listen to their clients first. They seek first to understand their real issue and their interest. They will not propose a solution unless they have fully understood the problem. Therefore, 5-Star Account Managers must be very good at asking questions and active listening.

Habit 2: Empathy

5-Star Account Managers show a real interest in their clients. They ask them, if they can do anything else for them, after they have solved a problem. They ask about business issues and express their real interest not by selling something, but by probing more in order to really understand. They can then put themselves into the client’s shoes and feel what the client really needs.

Habit 3: Care

5-Star Account Managers care about their clients. They treat them like a son, a daughter or a brother. When it comes down to helping and giving, they are always available and make the client’s current issue their top priority until a solution has been found. They will not rest until the client has received help, relief, or the right advice.

Habit 4: Skills

Simplifying their client’s life is the main mission of a concierge as well as a 5-Star Account Manager. Therefore, they develop the right skills to do exactly that: they are creative, persistent, fast, and persuasive to change a worried or insecure client into a relaxed and confident one.

Habit 5: Trust

5-Star Account Managers create trust by continuously helping their clients, not by selling. With continuous help, the right level of trust will develop and clients will buy without be sold to. These Account Managers feel what they do and they feel good doing it. This energy is transmitted to the client and it reinforces trust.

Habit 6: Creativity

5-Star Account Managers never say „no“. They always find a solution or at least the best alternative to the expected solution. By doing this, they show real interest and commitment. This further deepens the relationship with their client.

Habit 7: Accessibility

5-Star Account Managers are accessible. They respond fast to their client’s needs and go the extra mile when an urgent matter arises. When it comes down to urgent matters, they do not count hours. They are just there!

Habit 8: Courteousness

5-Star Account Managers mind their manners. In international contexts, they have studied the cultural differences between countries and adapt to local standards. They are kind, polite, and humble.

Habit 9: Discreetness

5-Star Account Managers keep confidential information for themselves if needed. They can keep a secret even with their closest peers. As a consequence, they will know much more about the client than the ordinary Account Manager, sometimes even personal details.

Habit 10: Memory

5-Star Account Managers remember every client-related issue that still needs to be solved. They keep track of everything and if the time needed to solve something is a little longer, they keep their clients posted.

How many of these traits have you developed?
Are you happy with your performance concerning individual habits?
Are you the Concierge of your client?

Are you a 5-Star Account Manager already?

If not yet, work on developing the above habits and you will achieve that goal very soon.

I am keen to know what you are thinking. Please leave a comment below.