This book is a bit unusual for a Key Account Management recommendation. I have to admit I didn’t like the author Gary Vaynerchuk, I just didn’t resonate or connect with him as a person. A friend convinced me to pick up his book Jab, Jab, Jab right hook and so I did (the power of recommendation in action).
You know what, I was pleasantly surprised. This book is jam packed with great mindset shaping, practical guidance on how best to market and sell to your customers. 'Jab' being the attraction and engagement and 'Right Hook' being the promotion (you'll just have to buy the book).
What I wanted to do is pull out 3 ideas you can use in Key Account Management today and apply to your customer engagement immediately.
Idea number 1 – It’s all about the story
“Use every customer point of contact to weave stories about who you are and what your brand stands for.”
Great marketing is all about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling.”
“A story is at its best when it’s not intrusive, when it brings value to a platform’s consumers, and when it fits in as a natural step along the customer’s path to making a purchase.”
I had to lead with these three quotes from Gary as it ties in nicely to something I believe is trending but hasn’t yet arrived in the natural place in sales or account management training. The power of story. Telling the story of your customer and how their challenges, concerns and goals are woven in to the WHY of why your product or service exists. This is not an easy skill to master but it is one worth pursuing. There are a number of ways to deliver a story when writing, presenting via whiteboard or PowerPoint. I’d encourage you to practice being able to deliver story without any tools. When you do have the tools available to you they simply add to driving engagement and don’t get in the way. The book by Chip and Dan Heath ‘made to stick’ would be a great additional resource to learning how to do this well.
Idea number 2 – Content is good but context is better
“Creating content that allows us to share our experiences, thoughts, and ideas in real time is becoming an intrinsic part of life in the twenty-first century.”
“… the definition of great content is not the content that makes the most sales, but the content that people most want to share with others.”
“Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match.”
We’re in an age where content is fast and furiously searching for our attention. While great valuable content is good context beats it every time. The relevance, timing and specificity of that content can cut through the noise and meet your customer exactly where they are. As Key account managers you have the added advantage because you're speaking with your clients often. The information you share can be highly personalised and meet your clients needs right when they need it. In the process you build huge amounts of credibility, trust and influence that can and does lead to more sales, more recommendations and opportunities for you.
Idea number 3 – Give, Give, Give then Ask
Finally this is for me what underpins the book. In sales we’re told to give value. What we are not told is what and how. What do we do when there isn’t a marketing engine driving the relevant content our clients need? What if we don’t personally have the creative knowledge or resource to deliver that value consistently?
In Gary’s book the art of giving is paramount. He talks about the 'Jab' as content that entertains/excites/educates. 'Right Hook' as the promotion or service/product you want to share.
How do we deliver enough Jabs that when the Hook arrives your potential customers and existing ones are more open to buy and more likely to engage with it. We might not be entertaining but we can definitely excite and educate.
The one question I ask of myself and other account managers is this. What is the one problem you can help your client solve today that doesn’t require them to pay you? How often could you do this?
This might sound crazy, but this for Key account managers could be something small but significant. For example, helping your client find a hotel to book a training room because they have no time, could you provide a free webinar to best help end users use the services your client wants them to engage with?
Whatever it is, this could be your "Jab". When it comes to eventually offering your "Right Hook" or product or service you'll have more openness to hear and less resistance to buying.
What do you think of these ideas?
Leave a comment and get in touch
Jermaine Edwards - Founder of Key Account Hack System
Helping you retain your Key Accounts and grow sales from your high value customers