Our top tips for nurturing mutually valuable client relationships.</h4
At Bigrock, we have seen first-hand how nurturing strong professional relationships leads to mutual opportunities for growth and success.
One of the most effective ways to grow a business, particularly one based on your expertise, is through personal recommendations and word of mouth. Demonstrate how good you are, impress key influencers and let them spread the word.
There are many skills and techniques Business Development professionals and Key Account Managers need in their tool kit that we could recommend. But for this post, we will concentrate on 2 basic principles that have always stood the Bigrock team in good stead.
1) Relationships exist between people not companies
People are the key to great business relationships. Your relationship is with the people in a company. They are the ones that value your expertise, will benefit from your services and will ultimately vouch for you. Take the time to build a personal, yet professional, relationship with the people in your key accounts. Base these relationships on always meeting and, where possible, surpassing their expectations.
Learn what the business expects and needs to make a decision or take your proposition forward. But also learn what people of influence need. How do they like information presented? How long do they need to process the details? Do they like to talk things through or would they prefer an email? Tailor your service to their needs.
Strong relationships, based on mutual success, deliver untold opportunities. Successful influencers often move around their industry, are promoted or grasp opportunities to explore new ventures. If you can nurture a strong personal relationship with these influencers, or even better help them achieve their promotion or start their new venture, they may just take you with them.
2) Have multiple touch points – go deeper, broader and smarter
One person who supports you in an organisation is not enough! The best account managers create a groundswell of positive opinion in their key accounts. That way, when others ask about your business or who to approach for your services, several voices shout for you. There is a collective goodwill towards you and your organisation.
Once you’re ‘in’, make sure you develop strong relationships with a number of people across the organisation. Several years ago one of our clients summarised this as;
“We need to build deeper, broader and smarter relationships with our key accounts.”
Go deeper! Build relationships with your influencer, but also with their boss and their team. Encourage you team to build relationships with their counterparts in the key account.
Go broader! Seek referrals into other areas of the business. Discover the needs of every area of the organisation and work your magic.
Go smarter! Deeper and broader relationships across a key client enable you to work smarter; to find efficiencies in your own and your clients’ processes, to notice previously unnoticed opportunities. Plan a smarter key account management strategy.
Bigrock offer a range of training and development programmes to help professionals engage more effectively with influencers and key accounts.