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Stranger Danger

Growing up, every child learns about Stranger Danger and the risks associated with an unknown person.  “Don’t talk to strangers” becomes ingrained in our psyches and stays with us forever.  The problem is that as we enter adult life, we can face a different kind of stranger danger. 

For SAMs, the risk reverses such that now the danger lies in NOT talking to strangers.  What I mean by this is that as a strategic account manager, if you don’t have relationships with some critical players in your customers’ organizations, then you face danger in the form of risks to your current business and/or missed opportunities for growing your business with that customer.  The more decision-making power these ‘strangers’ have, the greater the danger they pose to your relationship.

Fortunately, you can address this problem in two simple steps:
1-identify the strangers, and 2-talk to them.

OK, so maybe step 2 isn’t exactly simple, but the more successful you can be at it, the more opportunities you will have to get new insights into your customers’ business and uncover opportunities to drive growth.

Who’s the next stranger you’ll be introducing yourself to?

Jennifer Batley
VP, Strategic Accounts

Originally posted July 21, 2010 on SAM Source

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