“There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not.”
-Francois de La Rochefoucauld
I sincerely believe that most of the salespeople we work with aspire to be truly customer-needs-focused in everything they do with or for clients and prospects. Recognizing the Key Account potential of a given prospect, they realize the relationship should be taken very seriously, and every move should be thought-through well before taking action. Just as with an authentic romance, they realize that instead of talking about themselves (or their company, products, and services), they should get the other party to talk about their interests, aspirations, and needs.
But temptation can be very strong. When another quick sale might help the seller get to budget, or when they’re being pressured to bring in one more deal to help the sales department meet a quota… it can be very easy to allow one’s focus to shift toward the immediate transaction rather than the long-term relationship they started out looking for.
True customer-focused selling means keeping your eye on the needs of the customer, and creating the kind of solutions that lead to a long-term relationship. Key Accounts are created when you focus on their critical needs and objectives, not yours.
The Target Accounts on your list are, by definition, few in number, loaded with potential, personally chosen, and very special. They are “the ones.” They are the businesses you hope to grow with for a long, long time. Don’t behave as if you--or they--are only interested in a one-time deal.
You’d only be cheating yourself.