Account management and strategic account management is one of the most effective ways to increase revenue from clients. It is always going to be easier increasing budgets from those you are already working with than completely new customers.
Every business relationship depends on trust.
Trust takes time to build. And it can go up and down over the course of a relationship.
Account management is all about building on that trust and maintaining a relationship, even if a client isn’t buying your products/services at present.
Here are six ways you can use trust to increasing spending from your key accounts.
#1: New products/services
Depending on your products/services and the lifecycles clients experience, take time every quarter or year to review what they’re buying and where opportunities exist to sell new products or services. Maybe you’ve rolled out something for new clients. Don’t forget about those who’ve stayed loyal for years: offer this new service to them first.
New products and services are valuable new revenue streams. Your customers appreciate being thought of first, even if they aren’t ready to buy straight away.
#2: Up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
Similar to the way you can review new product/service opportunities, there are always going to be ways to sell services they might find valuable. Look at what they’re currently buying, what else you can offer, and how to capitalise on an account management opportunity. Whenever possible, make sure this is a higher value opportunity that is tailored around the needs of the client.
#3: Referral opportunities
Happy clients are potential referral gold mines. But how many companies capitalise on these opportunities?
Always ask for referrals and positive testimonials/case studies. Don’t miss these opportunities. And don’t only ask once then forget. Periodically ask, keep your brand front-of-mind for new chances to win work through referrals. When a client trusts and values the work you deliver, every interaction in the relationship is a chance to create value.
#4: Referrals work both ways
With that in mind, always look for opportunities to generate value beyond the scope of the contract for your client. Refer them to potential clients, agents, and pass along information that might prove useful. Make sure they know that they can rely on you, whether or not they’re spending money.
#5: Maintain contact during quiet periods
Good clients don’t always spend money with a supplier consistently.
Ever wonder what happens if a supplier goes quiet during a dry spell?
Good clients become good clients of other suppliers when they do have a budget. Whereas, if you maintain contact - it doesn’t need to be as often as you would when working together - that good client is more likely to come back instead of going somewhere else.
#6: Support long-term goals
As you get to know a long-term client, they’re going to talk about their big goals. Big scary ambitions for growth. Are there ways you can help them with these goals? Even if that means referring them to a supplier of other products or services. If there are ways you can provide help and support, then you are further building on the trust you’ve established and can support your client for now and the foreseeable future.
As an account manager, or a salesperson with account management responsibilities, you are in a unique position to increase revenue without dramatically increasing workloads. Remember these six ways to generate more top and bottom line revenue:
1. Sell new products/services to current clients
2. Identify and act on up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
3. Always aim to maximise referral opportunities
4. Remember that referrals work both ways
5. Maintain light-touch proactive contact during quiet periods
6.Support a clients big long-term goals