I have worked as a success manager at a FinTech provider for over a year and with clients in various industries for over 15 years, helping them achieve great levels of success and develop businesses from the ground up.
I have realized that when the foundations are strong, we can build together a solid business relationship and leverage it to KPI tracking, advocating customer’s needs, establishing strategic plans and other requirements to ensure the client’s success.
Over the years, I have learned several principles and values that have slowly formed into my own credo and I would like to share them with you:
Regardless of whether your business model is business to business or business to client, it is always human to human.
When working with clients I always try to remember that at the end of the day it isn’t companies doing business, but people doing business. Although I maintain a personal life separate from my business life, I do strive to gain rapport with clients.
It is much more pleasant to work with people you get along with, and it is typically much more effective to cooperate when you have positive feelings.
During influence calls I always think about the person’s WIIFM (What’s In It For Him/Her) to accept my ideas, rather than why I need him/her to agree, and do my best to keep my mind open to learn and accept other people’s knowledge and experience.
Gaining trust is important in any business but in the trading industry it’s a must.
As a success manager I’m exposed to the client’s most sensitive information. Just as I would expect my doctor or lawyer to keep personal details undisclosed, I have vowed to never use my client’s personal or business data in a way that can harm them.
it is typically much more effective to cooperate when you have positive feelings
While working with my clients I aim to be their trusted advisor with whom they share information and ask for guidance. The success manager’s main tool is his/her personality – losing credibility means losing the client.
A meaningful success manager should be proactive and always seek for initiatives that will contribute to both the client and the company.
One of the main responsibilities I have is to react to clients’ requirements and needs from different departments in the company such as technical, finance, etc. In my day-to-day activities though, I try to be proactive too and identify gaps and suggest ways in which we can fill them.
I work with R&D to deliver my clients more capabilities and I also connect them with 3rd party providers who can help them expand their services.
I do whatever I can to bring them more values to help them grow
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The more we are eye to eye on the vital principles, the easier we overcome disagreements we face.
As a success manager you may come across contradictions between the company’s interests and the client’s. As much as I’m the company’s employee, I always strive to look for a happy medium.
One way in which we can bridge the gap is by establishing shared goals; for instance, think of where the company is going and try to engage the client and guide them through the same path, and vice versa: listen to what is important for the client and use your impact within the company.
A client who is unhappy and complains is a client we can help and satisfy
In addition, throughout my professional career, I have come to recognize a few things that successful brokers do while working with a success manager:
1. Some clients may think it is the provider’s responsibility to maintain the business relationship – after all, they are the ones paying. However, a successful broker understands that it is important for him to be in touch with the success manager as well.
2. As a broker, it pays to be in the success manager’s mind and be the first one to know whenever he may have a new opportunity to offer.
3. Having a contract between the broker and the provider is just a formality, at the end of the day it is people and not paperwork that establish relationships.
I work with many clients, some of them are demanding and others contact me in rare cases. Some success or account managers may think it is easier to work with clients who have less issues to address, however I strongly believe that working with clients who challenge me with questions and requests is much more productive and a great way to better myself.
A client who is unhappy and complains is a client we can help and satisfy, the problem is with clients who are unhappy and don’t complain, because we have no way of knowing where we failed.
Getting feedback from a client is not only a great way to learn about our products and services, but also a great way to learn about the experience I get through working with them in resolving issues. Clients who express their needs, help us improve our products and services.
Building and maintaining a business relationship between the provider and the client is important for both parties; from the personal perspective (nice to work with nice people) as well as for the business benefits (leverage positive feelings to opportunities). The relationship between client and success manager is like one meal made by two chefs – each one contributes his expertise.