Here is a selling concept that is arguably a fundamental, but it’s a fundamental that is too often missed…
The “One and Done” Account Relationship.
“So what,” you might say, “One relationship is all that I need to get my contract signed!” That may be true. But it’s very short-sighted. I guarantee that in today’s dynamic business environment, one relationship will not keep that account for you – much less keep it growing.
We all know that our connections at an account must be deep, and constantly refreshed. But sometimes we forget that they also must be – Plentiful.
Picture two triangles bonded by one point a the apex. Only the tips of these triangles are holding them together. Our one point of connection equals our one relationship – you and your key contact. No matter how strong this one relationship, how strong do you think it will be the account level? Not strong enough! Even if that relationship is the Chairman of the Board or the CEO, there will be changes in careers, dynamics in responsibility, relocations, re-orgs, spin-offs, changing priorities, and on and on. Here’s another challenge to your one-point connection…Imagine that your top competitor comes to town and decides to buy the business and co-opt your contact by building momentum with other buyers in the account? News flash…Your single connection is toast.
Now, picture the same two triangles, only this time they are bonded by many points along their bases. Our many points of connection equal our many relationships. You, your President, your COO, your Marketing Director, your VP of Distribution, your Customer Service Manager, etc. – all connected through you to their peers at your Account. Now, no matter what happens to one or two of them, the bond is strong. Imagine that same competitor coming to town in this scenario. Even if they get an opportunity, they will simply bounce right off. It’s unbreakable. It’s…Bulletproof.
Challenge: Think through your Account list right now. How many of your key accounts are linked by only one connection? More than half? Don’t feel bad. That sums up my informal poll over the last 25 years.
There are plenty of great books out there for building deeper and more abundant client relationships. Here is a quick Amazon search with some great recently published books on the subject.
But here’s the thing – regardless of your methods to build those relationships, you should not be wondering what to do on Monday morning. Plot your course and expand those connections…Flip Your Triangles!