What REALLY Stymies the Account Development Process?June 22, 2015 | By Wayne O'Neill
But sometimes a super-connected relationship can actually hurt the account development process.
How Clients are Like Your Children
A relationship with a client can be like a relationship with your child. When you’re that close to someone, sometimes you have a narrow view of them. When a teacher or coach points out something about your child, it can help you see that child in a different, broader way.
One of our clients has been in business for 50-plus years and they are very connected in their region. They’re connected with C-level people all the way up to CEOs and COOs. Through our coaching process we have discovered that they are often so close to those existing relationships that they don’t see those relationships as accounts.
We’ve had to show this client that they are actually sitting on strings of revenue and profit – and that their other partners can help them see these clients differently.
Sometimes when you know your client well, you don’t really see them. Like when a coach points out that your child has persistence in basketball, or a teacher points out that your child practices piano more than other students because she wants to be that good – getting an outside perspective can really open up your eyes and help you see that person from a new angle.
You’re getting new context for that person, which adds dimension to your relationship.
This is why community is so important – you get all these different views of a person. You end up saying, “Wow, I had no idea. Now I see who I am living (or working) with.”
This is why I’m such a believer in blitz meetings instead of traditional networking. Because in a blitz meeting, you share context.
The Bottom Line
Getting a new perspective on an individual, or seeing them in a different context can really stimulate the account development process. You might see that a client who says they want to do projects actually wants to deliver space and use assets to compete in their vertical market.
Take every opportunity to get to know your clients in different ways. Blitz meetings are great for this.