How much time or money do you spend on developing yourself in key account management? It can be very easy to get comfortable in our results without really considering if there is more we could achieve. Your targets go up every year, the expectations change but yet very few of us shift the expectations of our own ability.
I want to share with you five self development practices I encourage all of the key account managers I train or coach to work on.
A powerful practice many in key account management dont use enough is the power of setting goals. Many of you may find you put your key account plans together and two months later you're absolutely lost. Your busy but not really being as effective as you could be. Taking a moment to set defined short, medium and long term goals can and will significantly increase your ability to win at a high level.
A study done at Harvard Business School written in the book "What they still don't teach you at Harvard Business School" wanted to look at the importance of setting goals. They found 84% of graduates had no specific goals at all, 13% had goals but were not written down, and only 3% had clear written goals and a strategy to accomplish them. The results were shocking
the 3% who had written goals and a strategy were earning on average 10x as much as the other 97% combined!
There is evidence of this all around. Those that succeed at a high level consistently have clearly defined and set goals.
Mastering your focus
Vince Lombard once said "Success demands singleness of purpose" and he is right. Our ability to stay the course and deliver on that one thing makes a huge difference. Is very easy to be led astray by those WMD's (Weapons of Mass Distraction). Email, social media, gossip and you name it. Check out my blog on WMD's HERE.
What's the key to focus? there are a number of best practices. First is eliminating distraction. If your social media or email doesn't need to be up while you're tackling a task switch if off. Simplicity and selection is next. Focus only on those task you know will give you the greatest return on effort. Don’t attack any more than 3-4 tasks a day. Why? if you give your brain too many tasks you'll simply stifle yourself and very few of those tasks will be done well at all.
Getting to know your self
Self awareness and emotional intelligence had a serge of energy in peoples interest a few years ago and now seems to have died out. The practice of getting to know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses and thoughts is critical to real personal growth. We will often think about personal growth as skills we develop but its clearly much more than that. Its about how we relate to and connect with others, its about our character. Its about the quality of our decisions and relationships.
You can't deal with where you're going until you address where you are and who you are.
Self-awareness is the condition of being aware of your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and actions.What can you do to know yourself more? Ask for feedback, write down your perceived strengths and weaknesses and check with someone who knows you. Take moments in the day and assess your thoughts. What is running through your head? What things do you think about most often? Maya Angelou once said "if you know better you can do better" The better you know your self the better you'll become. The practical benefit for you as the key account manager is you'll know what strengths to maxmise and the team you need to build around your weaknesses.
Become a relationship building master
We all know intellectually that relationships matter in all areas of life. How many of us actually work on this as a skill or have a model around us of people that do this well. Jim Rohn once said "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with". If you observe those things and look around it might be true in your own life for better or worse. The right relationships matter. These could be with colleagues who have a great positive mind, mentors, coaches you invest in, managers you might admire, friends or family. There is nothing more influential to our success than the relationships we hold.
How can we improve our ability to develop relationships? or first lets get honest. What do you actually believe about relationships? This will set the course of how you will treat and view those relationships. Having the right relationships is as much as you being the right person as it is them. The two fundamental traits I believe separate great relationship builders from average ones are their ability to listen deeply and without interruption and their ability to manage challenge (not just to be a yes person) with collaboration (looking for ways to help the other person win). There are examples of great relationship builders around us if you pay attention. Look for those people that emulate those qualities you admire and get around them. For me it started with a mentor I'd never met you can read that blog HERE
Renew your mind and be open to changing it
You may have come across this quote by James Allen - "You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you." How true it is. How often do you evaluate your way of thinking in key account management? We can run the same patterns of thinking despite not getting the results we want. If you want different results this may require different thinking, a new way of approaching your accounts. If you're not satisfied with your results or you want to achieve more then its time to renew your mind or at least be open to changing it.
If you're a key account manager or manager of key account teams wanting to double your key customer growth in the next 6-12 months get connected to my Wednesday KAM growth insights newsletter. Click HERE or get connected at www.jermaineedwards/signmeup