Understand the Organization

You know your client you know what they need. You take care of them just like you have for the last 5 years that you have had this account. But do you really know them? Can you draw the organization chart of the entire organization? And more importantly …
• Do you know how they make decisions?
• Who the go-to people are?
• Where ideas for new projects originate?
• Do you have a relationship with your client’s counterpart in the other division?
• Who wields power but has no authority and is not on the chart?
• The history of the key contacts?
I could go on but you get the idea. If you only have a single lifeline into the company and he gets hit by a bus or goes on maternity leave or retires, what happens then? Every day your client company changes and you need to keep up with it. When they stormed the beaches of Normandy they didn’t stop on the beach. They continued inland and took over all of Europe. Likewise, when you have a foothold inside a company, you need to expand your influence by meeting more people and truly understand how that company operates as a whole, not just in relation to your work. Not to do so is to jeopardize your standing and risk losing the client to a competitor who does a better job of developing relationships.

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