Account management during a pandemic can be challenging. Many of my clients are in a holding pattern or furloughed entirely. But there are things we can do as Account Managers to continue to provide great levels of service to our clients. Here are some tips from my Account Management Playbook:
As a Strategic Account Manager, with over 25 years of experience, I’ve learned that maintaining a relationship with clients leads to the ongoing success of the client. So one thing I’m doing is using this time to reconnect with my clients.
Prior to the pandemic, it was easy to speed through client meetings and skip the much needed personal connection. Trying to save time anywhere so I could use it to solve the issues and get the client back on track.
You have all likely been there – saving time any way you can to ensure you can get it all done. I realized recently that I forgot my own rule –always having a human connection.
As a successful Account Manager, I have the ability to provide the human element in a company/client relationship.
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer
So now I am taking this time to call every client. During the call, I make sure I lead with a personal question. Currently, I am asking about the health of their families and themselves.
I am also making sure I am following the 70/30 rule.
The client should do 70% of the talking during the call and I do 30%.
The conversation does not have to be business-focused. It is acceptable for the conversation topic to be about sports or hobbies.
This allows me the opportunity to listen and know what is important to them. Because honestly, if it is important to them then it better be important to me.
Strengthen your knowledge of the client’s core values and products. Take a larger view of your client and review company changes; new product releases and related services. Some areas that you should review are the employment postings and if available the latest board meeting minutes.
“I would encourage you: be informed – knowledge is power.” Matt Bevin
Research your client’s competitors’ current strengths and weaknesses. How can you use these to your client’s advantage now or in the future?
By taking the time to increase your knowledge you are adding value to the relationship.
Following up on these conversations is crucial. The follow up allows me to answer any open questions, clarify my understanding of issues, and to thank them for their time and sincerely mean it!
Send an email with a summary of the call so you can use that opportunity to thank them (with sincerity)!
Whether correspondence via phone call, email or a combination of the two, I add additional value by sharing Blog posts or articles that have been recently published that relate to their circumstance.
Not every call will end with a new sale or project but every call is an opportunity to strengthen my relationships.
What are YOU doing differently to manage your accounts, and stay connected with your clients?
Share your stories in the comments below!
Contact us today if you have any questions, want to discuss how we can help you, or to just talk tech.