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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Account List


Staying organized is one of the keys to productivity. If we're going to accomplish our important goals, we need to have a method for knowing what our priorities are and organizing our to-do list around them. 

By now, you have probably heard about Marie Kondo’s tiny turquoise book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It has been published in more than 30 countries, and has spent the last 77 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. During that time, Kondo has launched a companion book, Spark Joy, which has joined her first book on the best seller list 15 weeks ago.

Perhaps you’ve read the books — or even been inspired to start your own decluttering binge! 

There is a certain freshness and energy that comes from sweeping away the unnecessary and unused clutter to reveal the meaningful, important items in your home and your life. The feeling of “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place,” is a reward unto itself, as so many have discovered through Kondo’s KonMari Method.

One part of her book, which caused a lot of chatter on social media, was her approach to clothing. She recommends gathering together every single item of clothing you own, and throwing it into a huge pile. Then, one by one, you hold the items in your hands, and determine if they ‘spark joy’ in you. 

The clothes that don’t spark joy are immediately put into a discard pile, to be donated to charity. The clothes that pass the joy test are put back, purposefully and intentionally, into a clean, organized space where they can be seen, and are easily accessible. 

Here at The Center for Sales Strategy, we advocate a similar approach to maintaining your account list. The first step is to gather your accounts onto one main list. Next, we lead you through six questions which will reveal whether or not this is an Ideal Customer. One of the questions is very similar to Kondo’s question: ‘does it spark joy?’

Once the accounts have been contemplated and grades assigned to them, the next step is to think about how to handle each one. Will we choose to give more time and focus to the rewarding, high-potential accounts? Well, of course. Will we jettison the low-reward, time-robbing accounts? Of course, once we’ve analyzed them and know which is which!

The final step is to put the accounts back into a categorized, intentional order, using our Account List Management System. Use of this model helps you keep your focus on what’s important, in the long term. Limiting the number of accounts in each of the four categories is a built-in time-management system as well. 

We have brought these concepts together in a new short course, entitled Selecting High Potential Accounts. By the end of this course, you (or your sales staff) will have a tidy, refreshed account list. What’s more is that you (or they) will be better able to size up new prospects, knowing early on whether or not they would be an Ideal Customer, and if they are worth a spot on their Account List. 


Topics: key account growth Sales