Every sales force depends on developing and maintaining relationships with quality clients. Consider what makes clients tick and what makes them return for your business. Successful account management requires a multifaceted approach that affirms positives while accepting shortcomings along the way. Here are five tips on making sure you give clients the attention they need.
1. Fulfill promises. Clients might not expect you to deliver a proposal by the end of the day, but a promise to deliver one changes the game. Be careful about deadlines you create. Clients are usually flexible about terms, but consider them set in stone once you quote them. Deliver what you say you will at the appointed time, whether through a phone call, email, or in person. Clients value your services most when you show them you respect deadlines and fulfill promises.
2. Tailor your work to their needs. Whether you are in the middle of securing a promotion, expanding your business’s reach, or getting favorable press, don’t let any side priorities interfere with the attention you give to customers. Keep your focus on them so you can maintain long-lasting, productive partnerships. You’ll achieve the accolades and other hallmarks of success in time.
3. Be honest about shortcomings. No company is perfect, but many account managers buckle at the thought of admitting weakness to a client. Tell the truth about why you cannot meet every expectation, as clients will trust you more in the long run. They don’t expect a business to be flawless, so a clear approach is best. Take responsibility for any company negatives, as ultimately you represent the firm as a whole.
4. Avoid backlash from all sides. Unless you are dealing with the owner of a business, your client has to report to company higher-ups the same way you do. Keep everyone in the loop so surprises don’t arise. Inquire about whether your client’s superiors know of alterations to the developing deal, and inform your company of progress and changes. Your chances for long-term success are greater when you update each side of the equation frequently.
5. Review client expectations and adjust where necessary. You can’t consider account management work finished until you evaluate every aspect of the deal. In the case of longer partnerships, your job is to review client expectations on a regular basis and be certain their focus holds unchanged. Explicit reassurance is best in these cases. Assumptions may cost you dearly.
You must keep valuable clients happy, no matter the size of your business. Master the art of account management to ensure your clients remain with you for the long term.