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How Do I Keep My Key Sales Accounts? – 3 December 8, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Managing Sales Accounts.
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dirksphoto.jpgWhat or who are the potential threats to your ability to keep your key sales accounts?

What are you doing to insure that they stay at a distance from your key sales accounts?

Here’s a scenario that plays out more than you think:  You’ve got a great customer account.  They order from you exclusively and regularly.  They’ve been a key account for a long time now.  You know the family.  You know the kids.  They are solid customers. Then, one day you wake up and they are gone.  Vanished.  Went over to ‘those guys’.  How can they do this to you?  For all you’ve done for them over the years.  Special pricing.  Immediate delivery.  Twenty-four hour servicing.  How could they?

You missed it.  Something changed and you missed it.  You find out later that they were being wooed by one of your top competitors for many years now.  It’s not that you didn’t know about it.  You just didn’t really think you had to do anything about it.  You had them for all those years…what more could you have done?

Sometimes, you just lose good accounts for reasons you cannot control.  Maybe one of the ‘kids’ is now in charge of purchasing your goods or services.  You can’t control everything, all the time.

It’s easy to get very comfortable with your sales accounts that provide the bread and butter for your revenue and profit streams.  And that comfort-level is what can kill off a key account.

What does all this mean?  You have to get out of the comfort zone and don’t take anything for granted.  Don’t assume anything when it comes to key accounts.  Always be on the edge. Look for more ways to deliver what they need better, faster, and cheaper.  Remember, they are not your family.  They are running a business first.  So are you and I.