I recently talked with a rep who told me about one account that was sucking up his time. The customer expected him (a highly paid field sales person) to be handling all their day to day issues and customer service requests. The final straw came when he was asked to send replacement screws to them because they had lost them when re-racking some network equipment. So we are clear, these are screws that the customer had lost and which you can pick up at Home Depot for under $5! He put a stop to this (politely!) and helped them understand how to help themselves better using other resources at the company.
Too often we get mired in the day to day activities of working with customers and prospects. Simple requests for help are often the biggest time suck. We convince ourselves that we need to “keep the customer happy” and end up doing things that add little value for us. Even the customer rarely values these things, they either just think they do or are glad they have someone helping them.
Filter incoming requests by asking if you will be building relationships or moving opportunities forward.
Filter your own plans by asking the same question. And then prioritize your time based on which tasks will have the biggest impact for you.
Action: in your top 5 accounts, what are your planned activities to 1) build relationships 2) move opportunities forward