If there is one thing that every human being on the planet is faced with its our thinking and the conditioning of our mind and held beliefs. These beliefs of ourselves, others and our abilities can enable and empower us for success, they can stop us from achieving greatness and they can pollute those around us.
It's important to recognise our held beliefs are what determines the extent of our results in all areas of our life. They're like the image of cogs in our minds setting a pattern of automated behaviour that produces a subset of results. We get frustrated when we don't always get the results we want. We then often make excuses and I can be guilty of this as well. Excuses are a form of belief and in sales and key account management this is no different.
Today I want to challenge two possible held beliefs you might have as a key account manager. Two beliefs I know have held back many and might be holding you back from seeing massive sales growth and customer success in your business.
I need to make my customers happy so they'll stay
This for me is one of the most dangerous held beliefs because it immediately takes an unequal position. It's important to recognise that the customer and partner/supplier relationship should be about mutual and equal value. If that is not the case for you then it isn't a relationship that is healthy or sustainable. If making your customers happy is an end goal then you're unlikely to make progress. Happiness is circumstantial and its impossible for you to always make your customer happy. Sometimes they'll just be upset, frustrated and stressed because of their business and that's just being human.
Your customers internal desire is not for you to make them happy it's to feel safe.
Your customer being happy is a by product of the actions you take to deliver on the results they expect and you've promised. You can feel liberated to know you don't have to take on the responsibility of making any customer happy. You can act out of empathy and not fear. Happiness by nature is a form of contentment and has no urgency or energy to act or produce. It's unlikely to produce anything more than the same results or less. Instead of trying to make your customers happy we should seek to deepen trust and create excitement. More trust activates openness and possibility. Excitement activates energy, movement and expectation. When you focus on these qualities you shift yours and your customers behaviour to one that is present and future focused. As long as you continue to deliver on your promises and own your failures you'll be investing in a healthier and more fruitful relationship.
I just need to create more value to convince them were great
There is a big danger in sales that we can get caught in an unhealthy perspective of how, when and why we should give and create value for our customers. The question you should ask yourself today is:
Why do you think you need to add or create value for your customers?
Have a look at your answer and then ask: Is this answer about my customer or about me and my company? if it's about you then you might need to re consider your beliefs around this. If you already have a customer then they've already seen some level of value and were willing to open their wallets and pay for your product or service.
Creating and adding value to your customers should never be about trying to re convince them that your good enough. Creating value should be because you care and its an expression of what you do.
The difference between the two is huge. Creating value to convince says you really haven't understood the purpose of creating more value and you don't fully believe in the value your service or product is creating for your customer. When you look at creating value as something you do because you care about your customers it changes everything. Caring really isn't spoken about in business but it is a powerful force that brings creativity, positivity and intentionality. Those key account managers and businesses that embrace caring for their customers will always produce value far superior to their competitors.
By Jermaine Edwards, Founder and Author of the Key Account Hack. As a customer growth speaker and coach. Jermaine helps Key Account Managers, Managers of account teams, Solopreneurs and businesses around the world differentiate their value for retention and see up to 30% - 40% sales growth every year from their key customers. Using the key account hack system you access a proven step by step guide that leads you to deeper and more influential client relationships and massive customer sales growth in just 90 days. For more information visit his website, Twitter or LinkedIn.