My favorite book in high school was George Orwell's Animal Farm. If you haven't read it, it is an allegorical novel that tells the story of how Communism took over Russia and ultimately ruined their economy. I loved this book because a) it's brilliant, and b) it's a great defender of capitalism, which I LOVE!
One of my favorite lines from the book is "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
This should be our mantra in every sales organization! All clients are created equal, but some clients are more equal than others!
I love that! That's exactly why we created the Account List Management Strategy. You should absolutely treat your best clients way better than your littlest or worst clients. Oh, sure, we say that, but do we actually do it? Don't the little clients often take up the same, if not more time as the big ones?
Well, here are three ways that you can take better care of your "more equal" clients:
1. Categorize all of Your Accounts by Spending
We recommend that you do that by breaking them into two categories:
- Key Accounts - Your top 25% of highest-spending accounts for the year - this usually represents 75% of your billing.
- Secondary Accounts - The bottom 75% which is usually only 25% of your billing
2. Make Key Accounts Feel Special
Give them access to your best resources, products, and incentives - make sure that your secondary accounts don't get that. Make them feel like a real VIP. You could even create a Key Account Program that gives clients exclusive benefits. Think of it as the Advantage Program for your clients.
3. Focus on Their Needs
Often when we work with a big client, we forget to go through the same process as we do a new client. Don't do that. Every 3-6 months, go back to your Key Accounts and do a check-up. Make sure everything is going well, that there are no new problems or goals, and be sure that your program or solution is still on track. If not, then rally your whole team and focus on whatever has changed. Don't ever take them for granted.
So, as George Orwell said, "we're all created equal, but some are more equal than others." In sales, those are our Key Accounts. Make them feel like VIPs. If you do, you'll grow them year after year!