There seems to be a held belief in key account management and business consulting that it is essential to immediately get access to C and Executive level people when trying to grow sales. I have particular position on this but I understand why.
Key Account Managers are paid to go deep into their accounts to retain and strengthen current relationships, go wide to expand opportunity and go high to gain greater influence.
The challenge and opportunity for those committed to learning and becoming excellent in their role is you need to be able to do all three to really see explosive growth.
The only catch is most aren't prepared to do any of the three very well.
You know why?
Going DEEP, WIDE and HIGH within any customer organisation requires completely different levels of thinking, skill and behaviour.
You may recognise your strengths in these three words. What is it you find most challenging?
· Going DEEP
· Going WIDE
· Going HIGH
For most customer facing professionals there are two of the three they find challenging. For most I work with the consistent number one or two challenge is going HIGH. I wanted to offer some insights to what I see working well today and principles to consider.
This isn't as straightforward as learning what to say and the approach to take, although that may help to get you started. It's fundamentally about a shift in thinking and messaging from functional issues and ROI to talking about strategic value and organisational insight.
The executive you're trying to contact doesn't care about your joint success plans, how much you think you know about their business or asking questions about their goals. They want insight. Information that gives them unique perspective, competitive relevance and solutions to problems they have.
What should you as a key account manager or business consultant be ready to bring?
Here are 5 things you must have ready before you attempt to move up the executive conversation chain.
1. Know in advance what the most important issues are to them.
2. Know why you want to meet/speak with them.
3. Be clear on the insight you're bringing (what do you see that they haven't been able to solve or results you can bring that they don't have).
4. Practice showing up as the CVO (Chief Value Office). You may not be equal by role by you're definitely superior by insight because you've done the work and have information they don't have. You have to activate that level of confidence going in.
5. Rehearse your message so you know it without hesitation and ensure your points are clear and to the point. Things should be high level to begin with. You can always bring in more resource to support the detail later and you can state that with credibility.
You can get all of this collective intelligence about the executive you want to meet through multiple sources. Example: current contacts, LinkedIn, company executive reports, news etc…
When on the call. Be in control. Set the agenda by leading with point 1-3. If you've got those right you wont need to ask many questions they'll be the ones talking.
Books to read: There is clearly more to share on the subject. You might want to invest in books like 'Selling to the C-Suite' or 'Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology' by Steve Martin to gain more insight.
If you're a key account manager, manager of key account teams, business consultant wanting to learn how to go DEEP, WIDE and HIGH with your identified key customers. There are two options;
· Get connected to my weekly growth insights.
· Get in touch and lets talk HERE