There’s a lot to be said for familiarity. There’s a reason why we miss the little corner shop and the grocer who knew everyone’s name. There’s a reason we’re generally loyal to our favoured supermarket chain, websites and restaurants. We know them, we know what we’re getting, we’ve a history of mostly being happy with what we’ve got and in some excellent cases we’ve either got a relationship or the sense of one (buy a few things from Wiggle.com or Virgin Wines to understand a great customer experience).
It’s no different in the B-B space. Clients with whom you’re working, who know your qualities, who know your capabilities are much easier to sell to, easier to work with.
So, we’ve been surprised, saddened and frankly, disappointed recently when requested to carry out independent, objective reviews of customer engagements, to find out just how buried “in the project” account managers can become.
How quickly do your wonderful, broad and multifaceted offerings come to be seen as a thin slice of commodity value by customers who may feel abandoned, ignored and taken for granted by your account managers. Account Managers, who assume rather than question, who miss the opportunity to hand-deliver the invoice along with an interested and interesting conversation, who assume you’ll be in the frame for the xyz project without ever checking that the client knows you can do xyz.
No matter how good your work is your client’s perception of you is driven by their world, not yours, and the only way to understand that is to spend time with them, talk with them, give them a really good listening to.
If you’re any good at account management you’ll be a part of their world, you’ll know where the opportunities are for you to help them and you’ll know who you should be talking with to grow the account.
But objectivity is tough when you’re at the coalface and you might need a little objective help to find out exactly what you don’t know that you don’t know, (that was the moment you might wonder if we might be able to help, yes, we might).
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted”