Creating Trust within Customer Relationships to Rise Above Your Competitionin Strategic Account Management /
Building any relationship with another person requires building trust. You choose to work with the same mechanic because you trust that they’ll do a job and fix only what needs to be done, rather than pushing another sale.
You go to the same barber because you trust that they know how to cut your hair the exact way that you like it.
The same is true for strategic account management. Frequently, the one thing that will take your relationships to the next level and rising above your competitors is trust. While your clients might like the tools and services provided by their other vendors, they might not necessarily trust them.
Building trust is just one of the many ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace, but it is crucial to the long-term success of your clients and your organization.
To build a long-term, healthy relationship with your strategic accounts, you need to build trust with them. Building trust can happen naturally over time, but there are a few methods you can follow to expedite the process and rise above your competition, securing that coveted title of Trusted Advisor and partner in their success.
Today, we want to take a look at a few of the ways you can build stronger trust with your strategic accounts. If you follow them closely and put them into practice, you should be able to generate real results with each of your clients.
Don’t Just Say it – Do It!
A huge part of building trust with people is keeping your word. If you tell a client that you’re going to do something, you must do it. That’s the end of discussion.
In reality, this command goes deeper than just those few words. You want to be very specific with your client about every single action that you’ll perform with their account, so they know to set their expectations accordingly.
Let them know what your goals for the account are and relate them back to their organizational goals as well so they see you less as a salesperson only thinking for themselves, but rather a part of their team that they can depend on.
On a side note, the old adage of “under promise, over deliver” rings true here as well. You should aim to consistently blow your clients away. So, never promise something that you know you can’t accomplish, and instead, go above and beyond and surprise them (in a good way) every time you report back to them.
Don’t Hide from Risks
We all hate risks and would prefer if they didn’t exist at all. The thing is, you can’t hide from risks, and trying to sweep them under the rug only for them to show up later down the line doesn’t do your client any good.
You should be upfront and clearly describe potential risks related to their account along with solutions that you’ve already put in place to show that you’re a proactive person. Many vendors will hide from risks and only tell their clients what they need to know at the time.
This type of behavior might seem harmless, but it can be dishonest, and once the issue arises, your client will wonder why you weren’t aware of the risk in the first place.
One of the crucial components of any strong relationship is open communication. You should feel comfortable telling your client about potential issues, and you should never feel like you have to hide anything from them. Be open and honest with your clients, and they’ll start to trust that you have their best interests in mind and are going above and beyond to help them reach their goals.
Moving on, you can’t just tell your customers that you are capable of doing things without backing it up. Empty claims don’t go over very well in the SAM game, so you better have some proof to back up your claims.
While discussing your plans with your strategic accounts, you should have solid experience and past customer stories to back up your claims. You can’t just tell someone that you can do something unless you know for a fact you can, and if you know for a fact that you can do something, tell the client about a time that you accomplished a similar goal.
You should also reflect back on the things that you have done for their account in the past. Relate how past experiences are similar to the current one and then reinforce the success that you had.
Showing that you’re capable of handling any and all of the client’s problems is a crucial step towards becoming their trusted advisor. Knowing that they can count on your will go a long way and delivering consistent results doesn’t hurt either.
How does your customer deliver value?
Every organization has a unique value proposition that separates them from the competition. Your organization probably spends a lot of time thinking about its own, but do you ever consider your strategic account’s value proposition?
By putting their value proposition to their customers front and center, you can make more significant gains in achieving mutual success while also building trust too. If you don’t know what their value proposition is already, do your research to determine what it is that they do that makes them unique.
Then, you can approach your next meeting with the client with custom, tailor-made solutions that will help validate that value proposition. The customer will see you as a trusted advisor looking for ways to improve the ways that they deliver value to their customers, and they will start to trust you more.
How Kapta Can Help
Building trust can take time, but with these tips in mind, you should be able to speed up the process and differentiate yourself from the competition. To help keep every account on track, you should use a platform designed specifically for SAM. Request your free demo of Kapta today and see how it can help you build trust with strategic accounts.
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.