Not all clients are created equal. Everybody loves the ones who are super easy going, extend their loyalty through renewals and referrals, and all the while don’t require constant contact. But, have you ever had a client that started out dragging their feet with the purchase decision and since then has yearned for frequent attention while regularly questioning whether they’re getting enough value from you? Identifying what level each of your clients falls under can help you differentiate your interactions with them. Proper account management doesn’t stop there though. Knowing how to invest in each account is important for maintaining the status quo, but what if your company vision isn’t fulfilled at the status quo. Over time, that means you will need to further identify which clients offer the most in terms of facilitating your company’s growth and redirecting more time and energy in their direction rather than being bogged down by the clients who insist on starting fires.
Back in elementary school and into the beginning of middle school, I was the nerdy kid who would voluntarily carry a briefcase instead of a backpack because I felt it was the optimal way of transporting papers and homework without crinkling them. I still maintain that assertion. However, such a decision, though it seemed obviously superior in my mind, was the sort of act that led to nicknames like ‘President’ and prompted other students to prank me by unclipping the briefcase in the stairwell, causing my papers to fall out. While the name calling and pranks did not necessarily bother me, at some point a switch in my brain was flipped and I began taking notice of the fact that girls tended to be drawn to “popular” kids and that nerdy kids with briefcases did not fit that mold. Therefore, in order to get to where I wanted to be – the popular circle where girls would more likely be drawn to me – I would need to spend the foreseeable future reinventing myself. People do not just wake up the next day and forget that you used to carry a briefcase to school; that was going to require more dedicated investment in identifying the right groups who could little by little move me closer to where I wanted to be.
I tell this story not to relive my accomplishment of eventually ending up on student council and hanging out with the “popular crew”, but to shed light on the fact that as a business professional you have to know the vision for where your company wants to be. From there, maximize relationships with the most advantageous clients in terms of progressing your company toward that goal. Not all clients are ideal for moving you forward, which is why the same level of investment should not be spent on each account.