One the best indicators is the state of your top clients. Ask yourself these five questions.
1. Are my top clients growing and am I keeping pace with their growth?
If your clients are growing and you are not, then there’s a strong chance you are losing market share and therefore share of wallet. That means someone is eating your lunch, see 5 below. There is a famous quote by William Burroughs. “When you stop growing, you start dying”.
2. Are all my eggs in one or two baskets?
We all now about the 80:20 rule. And it’s dangerous. If you’re top 5 clients account
for more than 70-80% of your business you are at risk. I recently was talking with a company in that very position. What was even worse was that 20% of their business came from another 20 clients who were never capable of growing further, so there was this huge gap in the middle between the best and the rest. Big red flag.
3. Have my Account Managers been looking after their customers for more than 2-3 years?
Building clients is about building relationships. Building relationships is about building trust and respect. It takes time and involves consistently doing things that add value over time. Trust and respect are built on getting to know people over time, not constantly changing because the results are not what you want them to be. Coach, don’t just change.
4. Are we truly adding value to our top clients?
Sometimes we kid ourselves. We think we have a business model that adds value. But does it? Think about this. If YOU were YOUR client, would you think that you were getting REAL added value? Be honest. Are we fooling ourselves into believing it’s added value when in fact it is just a means to justify our higher margins?
5. Do we know what our competition is doing or even who they are?
Ignoring competition is foolish.But many do. They feel it does not matter. Knowing what the competition is doing helps us keep one step ahead, see market trends and understand how we can differentiate ourselves. It’s a key piece to a successful strategy.
How did you do on these five questions?
Is it time to look again at your prestige account strategy?
Peter M. Beaumont is the Founder and Principal of ConnXN LLC. He is also the author of The Relationship Roadmap, a comprehensive guide to building relationships with strategic clients. Find out more at www.ConnXN.net