Often times, sales people forget that in most selling professions, when you CLOSE the sale, you OPEN the account. When you open the account, you begin the process of building the account. Here are three simple tips to remember for effective account management.
Just as the word indicates, you must build on the relationship by planting. When you cultivate the soil, you invest time, effort, and good seed. To get more growth, you fertilize the ground and keep it nourished with water. To cultivate, you have to feed the growing entity.
Often the account manager is interested only in what they can get from the account, instead of what they can contribute to the account. However, you must invest and feed first. Be available, be of service. Provide additional help or become a liaison to other services. Make your clients aware that they can call you for other things aside from what you sell and don't forget to ask yourself, how often do you contact the account when you are not trying to sell something?
During the sales process, hopefully you were able to establish yourself as an adviser, a consultant for the client. You need to elevate your image far above that of the typical sales person to that of a solutions provider and trusted advisor. Continue to advise your clients even on issues that do not directly concern your product line. Be an industry expert, contacting and advising your clients and helping to keep them informed. For example:
"Hi there, Steve. I'm not sure if you are aware of the industry trade fair next month. But one of the breakout sessions is about enterprise wide accounting systems. I think it might be a good idea to send a few of your people. Let me know and I can get you a couple of free tickets..."
The best way to build customer loyalty and strong accounts is to let your clients know that you truly care about them or their business, and the best way to accomplish that is to in fact, actually care.
To become a true professional you have to get to the point where you look past the commissions and understand that your job is to help. Does that mean it's wrong to desire wealth and the incredible financial rewards that are possible in the field of selling? Of course not.
Just remember though, that getting more of what you want and need, is the result of helping others get more of what they want and need.
Photo credit: cardonebanking.com
Bio:Managing Director of MTD Sales Training, Sean McPheat is regarded as a thought leader on modern day selling, management skills and business improvement. Sean has been featured on CNN, ITV, BBC, SKY, Forbes, Arena Magazine and has over 250 other media credits to his name. Sean's Sales Blog is visited by 5,000 people every week and his 6 Sales Training Audios are free to download. Click here to follow Sean online.