Today negotiation has evolved again. This time with a greater understanding of the science behind decision making and the changes in buyer personas. Negotiation today is not about strength but rather psychology. The number one contributor to successful negotiation may not be what you think.
What are some of the most important questions you should be considering today as account manager, key account manager, account executive, consultant about your customers? You probably already ask great questions but what if there was one fundamental question that could help lead you into a new thinking to give you great sales and relationship results. Check out the post to see how.
The toughest problems are not solved in isolation there solved with others
Among the top skills for key account managers one which I believe is underrated and unappreciated is the ability to collaborate and lead teams to solve big problems faster, create more value than any other business for their customer and help their company build a culture that is focused on genuinely help each other win.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘be so good they can’t ignore you’? The quote is from the legendary comedian Steve Martin but was popularised by the author Cal Newport.
I’ve read both Cal’s books ‘So good they can’t ignore you’ which looks at the importance of discovering your passion through mastering a skill that’s valuable and ‘Deep work’ which discusses the ability to focus without distraction for results on cognitively demanding task.
The connection between ‘being so good they can’t ignore you’ and ‘the ability to focus on that which matters most with distraction’ fits a great model for key account philosophy.
I received a phone call from a trainer I know named Michael from Germany on the 16th of September. His voice was steady but I could sense some urgency in his voice. After the brief hello and how are you he asked if I could fly to Germany and then to Denmark in the next 2 weeks and that’s where the fun began.
Michael was working with a large global chemicals manufacturer. They were on the verge of potentially losing a customer worth 50 million dollars. He was heading a negotiation with the customer who was positioned to change suppliers and his clients take a significant loss. This was a big deal.
Over time you can discover that where your customer wants to go isn't always where you are going. Sometimes they pivot faster than you're able to innovate. Other times it can feel like your managing a completely different client with very different needs and requirements than what you began with.
I began to notice this mild case of customer schizophrenia in my sales career but it never became clearer until helping my own clients with their close customers.
I’ve discovered the “five customer relationship personas” that describes who your clients need you to be at different stages of your customer relationships. This will also help you to know who you client needs you to be.