Now let’s think about your client. Before you approach them, take some time to think strategically about the account.
Think about how your client might perceive you and your organisation. What have you offered them in the past? What have you helped them achieve? Do they see you as a one of many providers they go to or are you part of the team?
In terms of a consulting approach it will inevitably depend on a number of factors e.g. The size of the client opportunities, their/your current focus and objectives, challenges, and certainly the strength of the current relationship.
Use the Perception Ladder below to check how your client may perceive you and your organisation.
Would you like the client to think differently about you?
In most cases, Account Managers are looking to move up the Perception Ladder; to build the relationship to the extent where the client perceives them as a Business Partner.
However, this may not be the case. If the client has a limited budget, presents logistical challenges or sits outside your business’ overall strategic goals, you may decide to simply nurture your position as a Broker or Service Provider.
Decide where you would like to be on the Perception Ladder with each client. This is your strategic intent.
Ideally in Key Account Management you want to be seen as a Business Partner!