As you work with each customer, always keep your Plan for the account in mind. For some accounts your plan may be to just “sell the next deal.” The problem with this approach is that if you go about selling in a thoughtless, unplanned way, your customers will quickly figure out that there is no professional depth to your selling.
For certain sales people at certain companies, success is about building strategic relationships with customers and helping customers achieve their goals. This means focusing with the end game in mind. It doesn’t need to happen every time, but it should be your focus for accounts having what you believe can represent long-term potential..
If you want a strategic relationship with a customer, you have to be prepared to invest to get it. Strategic relationships require an investment of time, talent and treasure. Many sales people simply can’t invest in accounts, due to limited seller-side resources, or don’t want to take the time to plan out a strategic sales approach.
If you are not prepared to invest, I ask you to remember a movie scene from The Untouchables featuring Oscar winner Sean Connery. In the movie, Connery is part of a group trying to put away Al Capone. Connery is told by a Treasury Agent that the Agent would do “anything he could to Put Al Capone away.” Connery shot back, “But THEN what are you prepared to do?” Selling success comes from being prepared to go the extra mile by investing time, talent and treasure in the account, and NOT just being willing to go the extra mile.