How to kill a healthy account

by on September 19, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Top Sales Dog
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Gary is a sales rep. He’s got this account. Let’s call them Old Faithful.

Old Faithful has had a standing order for years. It’s not a lot of money, but it comes in steady. At first, Gary tried lots of things to grow the account, but they made it clear that they didn’t want to be pushed. So Gary backed off. Soon he got busy with other customers. He hasn’t spoken to the folks at Old Faithful in a while. So he calls his contact, Nadia, to check in.

She fires him.

“Gosh, this is awkward,” Nadia apologizes. “But I’d sort of forgotten that we were still ordering that stuff from you. We’ve consolidated our purchasing, and we’re buying all of that from XYZ now. Can you send me a final invoice?”

So Gary should have let that sleeping dog lie, right?

Well, not exactly. Because this account wasn’t sleeping. It was dead. And Gary killed it.

His intentions were good. When you have an account like Old Faithful – steady, but with little if any chance of growing – it’s easy to ignore it. Especially when they’ve told you they don’t want to be pushed.

But there’s a difference between pushing and keeping accounts engaged. Gary assumed that if Old Faithful wasn’t buying, there was nothing to talk about. So he let them drift away.

How many of your accounts are on their deathbed right now? And what are you going to do to save them?

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