One of the most challenging situations we can find ourselves in as account managers is when there is turnover at the top of the customer's organization and we have a new senior level decision maker. After all, they are coming into the role and want make their mark on the organization. Often that means change is coming, and our relationship might be in jeopardy.
In a situation like this, it could be easy for us to keep our head down and focus on doing good work, hoping the storm will blow over. However, this is defensive and risky. Doing good work is simply not enough. We have to get credit for the work we do and the outcomes we help create. One strategy to consider is just the opposite of this - go on the offensive. How? By leveraging a Relationship Review Presentation using the IMPAX flow of Them-Us-Fit-Action.
Imagine that you have scheduled a one hour presentation meeting with the new decision maker, and you deliver a presentation that they never expected to see.
- You begin by sharing with them some of what you understand about their business and direction. Backed by good research and delivered in a crisp and humble tone, they will no doubt be impressed with your depth of knowledge (it may even surpass their own level of knowledge).
- Then, you share with them an overview of your company. Not the typical 80 slide deck, but the most appropriate content that strikes a chord with them.
- Next, you review your relationship - the activities you've undertaken, the successes you've driven, the challenges you've faced and resolved, and the value you have created together (of course, backed by your research efforts and input from their team).
- This leads to the Business Fit - your message about how the two companies can continue to drive critical business outcomes moving forward.
- Lastly is the Recommendations and Action Steps, where you close on specific actions to move the relationship forward.
Think about this from the Decision Maker's point of view. They have a lot to do, and many questions about their own team and the people and companies who serve them. By doing this form of presentation, you can easily reassure them that you have your act together and a track record of accomplishment. More often than not, they will turn their attention to other areas where things are not so clear.