Trust and Respect, they travel on a 2-way street between account manager and client in any successful relationship. Before that happens, how do you get the traffic flowing both ways and back at you?  Well, lots of hard work, but here’s a crazy thought: perhaps you as account manager are a roadblock.  You may think you treat your clients well, but do you?  Do they really trust you?  Start by asking yourself: are you “selling” them, or truly servicing them?

What are you providing?

It’s fine to sell your products and that is certainly the measure of your success, but your clients don’t want to be sold.  Nobody does.  They want to have options, see value, and make the final decisions on their own, with your assistance.  If you have a good product, the sales will come, but through your service.

It’s not just the first impression, it’s the second, and the third…

Your current clients already have an impression of you, and an opinion on how much they trust you.  Your actions over the months or years have informed them with what they can expect.  If you stop and think about your client relationships, you can assess quickly the status of each one.  If you are honest with yourself, you know exactly how it is: is it based on the sale, or based on service?

Is this a buffet, or a chef’s tasting?

Are you setting out a giant smorgasbord? Or, are you presenting the choicest items from the menu, based on your clients palette? There is a conversation in the OOH industry about thinking “consultatively” instead of “transactionally”.  Transactional is old school, and a consultative approach is the way that out of home will truly bring value to new clients.  I fully agree and try to keep that consultative mindset front and center before speaking with any client.

Honestly, with so much going on during any day, it’s not always easy — especially when a client needs something right away. But as an overall philosophy and framing principle, I know that the consultative and deeper engagements lead to the best relationships, best client solutions and best business for me built on trust and respect.