Focusing Your Time and Efforts; A business case study supplement to Maintenance for Your Most Powerful Relationships (Inside Strategic Relations, 15 February 2004). For reasons of confidentiality, client name was omitted.
Background: You are an executive with over 150-employes and more than 5,000 customers. You always have a full schedule; you spend time between employees, customers, stakeholders, and social obligations.
Challenge: Your top accounts demand that you solve minor problems or that you be personally involved in negotiations for discounts. These customers have been on your books since day one, your friends with their executives, but each request turns into a major production and you too many things to do to deal with this nonsense.
Solution: Assign two-dedicated account representatives who are a part of a larger sales, marketing, and service groups. These proxies spend most of their time listening to the needs of major accounts creating a weekly single page status report that highlights successes, issues, and concerns for your review. Your interactions with these accounts are written or through these individuals only. You still connect with the executives on social issues, but you insist all business issues go through their dedicated representatives who are in touch with you regularly.
Results: You keep the strong business relationships with key customers who understands how important their account is to your organization, but that you cannot be personally involved. They see that you are still monitoring the situation and can step in through these proxies to address issues quickly.
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