It doesn’t matter how good your relationship with your key contact is, it’s the executive that has the final call. This means your relationship with your key contact can be perfect. They can be engaged and love your product, and then turn around and tell you that their company will no longer be funding you.
While this can appear like there were no warning signs, there almost always are. Red flags can be hidden, but they’re still there. This is because your key contact isn’t the one who makes the decisions; it’s the executive. So, while it’s important to keep up a great relationship with your key contact, and keep them involved and loving your product, it’s also important to keep your executive engaged.
So, as well as keeping your key contact happy, you need a different kind of relationship with the executive who is making the decisions for your business to thrive as a company. The two relationships will be different, as your key contact will want to know more about the product itself and how it’s working, whereas the executive will be more interested in the value and future proofing of the product. Either way, good relationships with any colleague is key to success.
How do you build this relationship? Where do you begin? Luckily, we have five ideas for you.
Find the Right Executive
This is usually going to be the first step you do, as it will be easiest to find the right executive at the beginning of a relationship with a client. Over time accounts and a good relationship with an executive can be lost, and this needs to be re-established, rather than finding a new one.
Set Goals with Them
If you can, you need to involve the executive in your goal-oriented thinking. This will add transparency in the direction your product or company is going in. Whether you can or cannot involve the executive, you must involve your key contact. Transparency will help them see the value of your product.
Manage and Talk About Expectations
If you’re not in direct contact with the executive already, organise a call and meet up with them to talk about both yours and their expectations. Communication is key in this case.
Give Them All the Results, All the Time
Any daily communications with your key contact may not be relevant, yet, your results will always be relevant. Executives will want to see that you are moving towards your established goals. If you’re behind, it’s more helpful to talk to them, rather than try and hide it. This is because then you can talk about how your strategy is changing to catch up with your goals.
Ensure All Parties are Resilient to Change
Change is inevitable in any business, so you need to ensure that there is resilience on both your end and that of your executives. Things may change on your end that your executives will need to be able to handle, just as your executives may request changes on your end that you will need to be able to address. Many people agree that a low level of resilience can badly affect work performance, so it’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
So, if you build a better relationship with your executives as well as your key contact, you can avoid any shocks. Furthermore, it will be easier to implement improvements in your company if you have a better understanding of your executive and their business requirements. If things start to go wrong, you’ll be able to catch it early enough to change course if needed as well.