Securing a Whole Client Commitment; 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 have a relationship with a lead buying director, but want a greater percentage of what the client could buy with you. A relationship with the president of that company would secure this objective.
Challenge: The buying director still has value, but how do you leverage this existing relationships to connect with the decision makers who can direct a greater percentage of purchases to you?
Solution: Start by first demonstrating your value to the buying director (an existing relationship) while providing reasons to involve other decision makers. Often your contact will identify a more appropriate contact. At the same time, you are establishing a separate connection to decision makers through social or other business channels.
This could be as simple as writing a personal letter thanking your buying director and their supervisor (or other decision maker) to a "Customer Appreciation Dinner" where you will thank them for their business and learn about their reasons for not sharing a larger percentage of business.
Do those things you discover that extend the additional business, and maintain a strong relationship with each contact you make inside the clients organization.
Result: If the buying direct should leave for any reason, other decision makers in the organization are aware of the value you provide and it will be more difficult to stop buying from your organization. You also can stage a case for a larger share of purchases in the area you provide, perhaps drawing orders away from your competition. Letting existing relationships suggest who you should contact often leaves them open to provide introductions that save you time.
/ relationship-realms | applying-strategy /