Here's a summary of what Ian had to say:
- STEP 1: Write a short account plan. Be sure to include key elements of strategy and intelligence. Map the relationships, key players, and view of the playing field.
- STEP 2: Use colleagues to improve the plan. Review your account plan every two weeks with others outside the account. Hone your strategic approach and get inputs on how to move forward.
- STEP 3. Involve the client in strategy-building. Formally invite high level customer executives to account planning meetings and informally get each client contact to help in your planning.
- STEP 4. Remain a little paranoid. Document at worst-case scenarios, things that can go wrong, and make plans to handle problems if they come up. Don't let "positive thinking" lose you the sale.