Earning Clients for Life as a Trusted Advisor

By Andrew Sobel Competition, commoditization, client sophistication, and transparent markets mean that few services can be truly differentiated in their own right. Strong, enduring client relationships, therefore, are the lifeblood of most organizations. Long term relationships serve another key function…


Involve Your Clients in the Account Planning Process

By Andrew Sobel In working with many client teams on account planning, I’ve learned that there really is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The planning process and the tenor of your discussions for an existing multi-million-dollar, mature client relationship will be…


The Characteristics and Roles of Successful Client Relationship Managers

By Andrew Sobel What are the essential roles of a client relationship manager? And what skills does he or she need to possess in order to fulfill these roles? Having studied tens of thousands of partners, managing directors, account executives,…


The 3 Levels of Personal Recognition—Where Are You?

As a young consultant right out of graduate school, I immediately noticed there were two types of partners in my firm: Those who fed off the business brought in by others, and those who were getting phone calls directly from…


Four Key Ways to Add Value for Time in Client Meetings

By Andrew Sobel When you meet with a senior executive, there’s one factor that usually determines whether you get a follow up meeting: Have you added value for time? It the client benefits from your conversation, you’re on your way. If…


Plan for Unplannable Serendipity: Make Your Own Luck This Year

By definition, serendipity is unforeseen—you can’t plan for it. Another synonym is “good luck.” When it happens, it feels great: A former client calls you out of the blue and within a few days you suddenly have a major new…


Jerry Panas and Thanksgiving Blessings

Read Jerry Panas’ encouraging Thanksgiving exhortation, below. It’s for every day, not just Thanksgiving. And, read about why he had such an impact in the world: My coauthor for two books (Power Questions and Power Relationships), Jerry was arguably the…


Ideas Are Everywhere and Everyone Can Come Up With Them

Willie Nelson, the acclaimed country singer-songwriter, has written over 1000 songs. A journalist once asked him, “How do you do it—how do you keep coming up with new songs?” His reply: “Songs are everywhere.” John Lennon and Paul McCartney of…


20 Opportunities to Grow Your Client Relationships

Are your client relationships growing, staying the same, or shrinking? How much influence do you really have over the direction they take? The answer to this second question is, I believe, a whole lot. While many factors influence whether or…


12 Indicators of Relationship Decline

The CEO of a Fortune-100 company I was advising got an unexpected call from the CEO of their largest technology supplier. The technology company CEO said he was going to be in New York City the following week and wanted…


 

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