Next Friday I am going to be at the 36th Annual Christmas luncheon with the guys I went to University with. We have stayed in touch for all that time and we have all attended this event year after year. We behave like 19 year olds when we get together. As I come to Christmas and the Holiday season, I always reflect on how grateful I am for the great relationships I have in many parts of my life ………….
The sales game is all about trust and relationships. My best customers are the one’s I have the best relationship with. My challenging clients (and they are few, by choice) have challenging relationships.
What are you doing to make your client relationships strong and trusting? How are you managing the relationships with your key contacts? The staff you connect with as an organization doing the work? The support staff that manage payments, meetings and logistics? You need to have a strategy plan every year that manages all the relationships you have and how you will increase the trust and connection. The longer you have these strong relationships the harder it is for competition to infiltrate the account and the easier it is for you to manage and control the opportunities available to you in the account.
On the opposite side of your business; what are you doing to manage the accounts where you have poor relationships. My attitude over the years has become one of – fix the relationships or get out of the account. Poor relationships mean poor deals and poor profits. Business has allowed too many organizations to treat suppliers with distain and poor relationships. I have two clients that have been recently told that in order to “play” with the account they had to provide 5 – 7M in services for free. And it was expected!!
In the next few weeks, take the time to determine what relationships you continue to grow and expand in your top accounts. What relationships you need to better manage in your other accounts and how you are going to do that. And in those other accounts – have the courage to stand your ground and even walk away from those accounts that are wasting your time and energy and expecting you to “play” for free!!
Remember very rarely, if ever, have you won a big piece of business with no relationship and trust and showing up at the last minute. Treat those top accounts with the gratitude and focus they deserve. The payoff is priceless.
Author: Bill Sayers
Bill has been praised for his leadership, common-sense approach and ability to inspire sales people to new levels of success. His easy manner and strong public-speaking skills make him an engaging facilitator. Bill connects with senior executives and sales professionals alike, as he shares his real-life experiences and provides the appropriate tools and strategies for success in today’s business world.