From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Keeping Major Accounts

August in Virginia Beach is HOT!? The facts about Global Warming are real convincing . . . my push for sustainable business stems from my interest in sustainable living. I can share more on that later . . .

Right now . . . sales force productivity is a challenge for managers , but you can double productivity without spending a single dollar more in sales training, especially if you follow the formula I outlined in the last lesson. Now that you've found the accounts, what's next?

August is about growing major account. In today's lesson, I'll reveal a ideas about strategic marketing that keeps major account buying from you over anyone else. While I could take 20 issues to cover this topic, today's treatment provides a critical overview of eight key points.

For more on strategic marketing that keeps major accounts buying, visit the member's area. Next time you'll discover what your CRM system isn't doing that's costing you customer loyalty today.


Justin Hitt
+1 (877) 207-3798

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Strategic Marketing That Keeps Major Accounts Buying From You Over Any Other Option Available

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

You just caught the big one -- Yes, the account you've always wanted. Now, how do you keep them buying from you over any other option available. The toughest challenge in customer acquisition is keeping them coming back.

While some advisors may say, you need to baby them, tiptoe around making them happy, and the like. It's more important to determine first if they are really a major account as a percentage of your profit are concerned, assuming this is a prize account, you keep them buying from you by:

  1. Getting buyers involved -- Use marketing that makes customer's feel like part of the decision making process, helping them fully invest in choosing your firm. Then as you interact with them, constantly give them additional opportunities to "raise their hand" to be a part of what you offer. It's harder for them to leave when they feel they had complete control over selecting you has a provider.
  2. Expanding the account sideways -- Cross into any department who can use what you offer. Do this with internal referrals. The more areas of their business you serve, the less likely you'll be hurt by budgetary changes or fluctuations in leadership.
  3. Connecting with multiple decision makers -- More than 20% of business contacts change their position, role, or capacity, even leave the company each year. What will you do if you key decision maker leaves? Always have at least two decision level contacts per solution provided. Multiple decision makers helps you stay connected with major accounts.
  4. Constantly reselling value delivered -- Sometimes customers need a little reminder about how much you are really doing for them, and who is better to share this good news than your sales team. Monitor your own value through a report card designed around this accounts initial expectations, desires, and concerns. Have you created the results you promised?
  5. Understanding customer life cycles -- Depending on your customer and solution, there are times where you need to leave them alone and times you need to step in strong. Learn to anticipate your customer's needs by monitoring their behavior, events that shape their business, and conditions that make your solutions ideal.
  6. Enhancing products around buyers needs -- Who says you must only sell what you have in this year's catalog, keep major accounts by tailoring products to fit their specific desires. Quite often, major account request customizations that make great additions to your general product line.
  7. Continual end user education -- The more proficient your users, the better the results customers receive, this investment in user education pays tenfold in choosing your solution next time too. Encourage user groups, self-education, and provide resources that makes users of your solution better than any other user available.
  8. Implementing full-circle feedback -- From start to finish, listen to what customers are really saying. Echo back requests for clarification, get your customers approval as you set expectations for a highly satisfied interaction at all points of service. Take what you learn from one account to improve the experience of others.

Building customer relationships is as much about keeping customers as it is attracting the right customers. That's why keeping major accounts loyal to you over anyone else is critical, and a good indicator of relationship value. If you follow this advice, you'll be miles ahead of your competitors -- at least for now.

© 2006 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
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