How to Never Again Eat Humble Pie for a Client
Have you ever felt embarrassed in front of a client because you were the last to know about an issue?
As the individual in charge, you’re supposed to have your eye on the ball. But when you’re responsible for a large account, it’s not always as straightforward as that.
After all, the best thing about a large account is its size. Conversely, the most challenging thing about a large account is also its size!
As a result, relationships within a large account are complex. With people talking across the businesses (at multiple levels), there’s a strong possibility that somewhere you’ll be out of the loop. It’s a problem, because if you don’t know what’s happening, you could lose footing with your client – especially if you can’t solve their issues proactively.
So what’s the answer?
Within small companies it can be easier to manage because the set up is more intimate. With colleagues under one roof (even in the same room) you intrinsically know what’s going on. For example, you overhear conversations, have coffee break conversations, and even socialise over Friday drinks.
As a result, the chances of knowing who’s speaking to your customer (and what they’ve said) are high. This means you can maintain a firm grip.
But this level of intimacy dissolves, as a company grows in size.
With departments in different rooms – even offices in different countries, you can soon lose sight of who’s said what and who knows who. And with those offices in different countries, there’s the complexity of different time zones to factor in too. What if you need to know something when the person who has the answer is in bed!
With information fragmented, you can feel that you have less control. And when you don’t have the full picture, the chances of a mistake can increase.
Is there anything you can do?
Adopt radical openness
If you are to keep control of a large account, you need to have sight of ALL communication and conversations that take place between your company and your client.
You can’t afford for your view to be filtered, distorted or “optional”. It’s not enough for you to be ‘CC’d’ or updated as per someone else’s agenda. After all, what they deem as insignificant could be of upmost importance to you. Only you can decide because you’re responsible for the client relationship and the big picture.
Fortunately you can achieve radical openness with email. That’s because email can help you keep that small company intimacy. After all, email does record pretty much everything:
- Questions and queries
- Answers and decisions
- Problems and challenges
- Praise and complaints
- Meetings and appointments
It’s all there.
So imagine this…
As the consultant responsible for an important account, how would your job be transformed if you had access to every single email message going to and from your customer (regardless of who sent it)?
What’s more, would it make your life easier if you could flag keywords to ensure you didn’t miss emails of note and you didn’t have to waste time trawling through irrelevant emails?
Take the easy option
As you know, large accounts need sophisticated management. You need to earn your client’s trust – and that’s only possible if you’re able to deliver on your promises. And radical openness can help you achieve this.
And the good news is there’s an easier way than asking to be CC’d into every email that goes back and forth. For a personalised demo of how Bullhorn can get you the insights you’ve been missing, click here. Or you can contact us on +44 (0) 20 3617 6262.