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This Thanksgiving, Get in the Spirit of Building Client Relationships

It's the perfect time of year to give thanks and show appreciation for the people in your life who help you succeed—friends, family, colleagues, and clients. When it comes to the relationships you have with your clients, thanksgiving isn't the only time of year you should work on appreciating and building them. You should always be looking for ways to strengthen your business relationships.

Why is building these relationships so important? Put simply, it's less expensive and easier to sell to already-established buyers. Bain & Company reports that retaining current customers costs 6 to 7x less than acquiring new ones. Repeat customers also spend 67% more on average.1

Yet, most organizations are not effective at developing the relationships necessary to grow their existing clients.

In our recent RAIN Group Center for Sales Research study, The Top-Performing Sales Organization, we found that only 38% of respondents agreed they are effective at maximizing sales to existing clients. This factor represented the biggest gap between Top Performers and The Rest (61% of the Top-Performer group2 chose "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" vs. just 32% of The Rest).

If you are looking for tips to build your client relationships during the holiday season and all year round, check out these 5 articles on how to strengthen relationships and grow your existing accounts:

1.   Top 10 Strategic Account Management Challenges

The #1 challenge in growing accounts is pressure to focus on short-term vs. long-term results   sales tweet

2.   The #1 Action for Strategic Account Growth

High Performers in SAM are 3x more likely to grow profit by 20% or more in existing accounts   sales tweet

3.   Infographic: 10 Steps for Growing Your Key Accounts

High performers are 2.8x more effective at assessing value they can bring to strategic accounts   sales tweet

4.   Want Loyal Clients? It Starts in the Buying Process

New sales research finds that client loyalty starts during the buying process   sales tweet

5.   How to Measure Your Client Relationship Strength

How strong are your client relationships on a scale of 1-5? Ask yourself these 7 questions.   sales tweet



1. Sarabjit Singh Baveja, Sharad Rastogi, and Chris Zook, “The Value of Online Customer Loyalty and How You Can Capture It,” Bain & Company, http://www.bain.com/Images/Value_online_customer_loyalty_you_capture.pdf.

2. We considered the following when we defined the Top Performer group: high win rates, annual sales goals met, if they set challenging sales goals, and if they mostly captured maximum prices in line with the value provided.

Additional Reading
[New Research] Benchmark Report on Top Performance in Strategic Account Management

When we studied strategic account management in 2012, 59% of sales leaders believed there was greater than 25% revenue growth potential in their existing accounts.

In a separate, more recent research initiative, we found that the #1 priority for sales leaders in the year ahead is to increase business with existing accounts. We also discovered that Top Performers are nearly 2x more likely to be effective at maximizing sales to their existing accounts.

The Holy Grail of Strategic Account Management

For our Top Performance in Strategic Account Management Benchmark Report, we studied two specific processes for driving value with accounts.

Achieve This Year's #1 Sales Priority

Ridiculous Upside is the name of a well-known blog that covers up-and-coming basketball players that could make the NBA, but need further development to reach their potential. Too bad that the basketball bloggers took the name, because ridiculous upside is a great way to describe the untapped potential hiding in most every company's existing accounts.