Sit still… pay attention… can you feel your underwear? Your earrings? Your eyeglasses?
Your most likely answer is ‘no.’ No, because you are so accustomed to how these things feel that they are not noticeable. In these examples, comfort is a good thing. In the business life of a SAM, too much comfort is a risk.
Strategic account managers over-invest in the wrong people, and under-invest in the right people.
Even worse: Sometimes SAMs miss the right people completely.
Relationships are weaker than they should be.
Value is not demonstrated to senior management at the client company.
Opportunities are missed.
Business is at risk.
Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable: it goes against human nature. But in the world of account management, staying comfortable often means that relationships stay too low in an organization as not enough time is spent with the senior Business Managers and CXO level contacts who can make or break your business relationships. Yes, the executive suite can be a politically intense place to operate, and the ambitions and rivalries are challenging to negotiate. But there is much to be gained by stepping out of your comfort zone and into this space.
Make a plan. Who are the ‘right’ contacts for you? How can you get connected to them? What value will you offer them? When you have the answers, put your plan into action. Repeat, until your new relationships are as comfortable as your underwear.
Have you had success building new relationships with CXO contacts? Share your tips here.
VP, Strategic Accounts