Exceptional Account Management that gets results
Business Development through Exceptional Account Management
We split Business Development into ‘Account Management’ (getting more business out of current clients) and Business Development (bringing more, new clients on board).
This article is focusing on Account Management – ensuring your current clients remain loyal, purchasing more and referring you on.
What is successful Account Management? Let’s look at top tips to follow (and pitfalls to avoid).
Stay close to your key contact.
Ensure you always add value at each interaction: for example, could be something you noticed that would be useful, a situation or something related to their industry that you can help with.
Know the other key people of influence. What if your main contact leaves? (We label this ‘1 point of failure’). Are you in touch with many others that love what you have, engage with you regularly? This is often a scary thought.
Assumptions and unconscious complacency (‘they love us’), means we may have stopped ‘reminding’ them of your value and the reasons they are doing business with you.
Ensure you are always, always, always looking for opportunities to help them. This means you need to be asking meaningful, intelligent questions to uncover further needs and opportunities.
No = ‘yes, but not right now’
Being close to a client means you can see what they need. So, six months ago they said ‘no’ to that extra product you know will help them. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will say no today. The timing back then may have been ‘off’ (other fires to fight, other priorities). Do not assume the ‘no’ is fixed. We see it as a ‘it’s looks right, but not ‘right now’. This thinking will allow you to bring it up again in later conversations – when the suitable opportunity arises.
If your key person does leave
- Get in quick to ensure all your other KPI (key person of influence) are sold on you
- Get in quick to the new contact. The more senior they are, the more likely they’ve been hired to ‘shake things up’ and may be reviewing suppliers. Don’t allow yourself to think ‘I’ll wait until they get their feet under the table first before I go in’ as your competitors’ feet may already be under that table!
- Follow the bouncing ball to re-connect with that previous key contact at their next workplace
When a client is peaking with gratitude towards you – this is an apt time you can politely ask for a referral.
Gut instinct will tell you if the timing is right. If they agree, offer suggestions, and maybe even write an outline for them to adapt or accept, and approve. Make it easy for them.
What to do
Put on the wall a list of your top accounts, look at it daily, ask yourself ‘when did I turn up with some insights or value for them’
Read: What are the 7 criteria of high performing sales people? >>>
Watch: the latest live Business Development webinar >>>>
Smarter Selling is sales and mindset coaching for high performing leaders and teams