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How to Skillfully Scale Your Accounts

How to Skillfully Scale Your Accounts

It’s almost impossible to have a realistic playbook for managing the growth of certain accounts. Whether you’re scaling up or down, the changes can be unpredictable and may disrupt your traditional processes.

Finding a new routine will take time, effort, and possibly additional resources. As an account manager, you have tremendous pressure to keep clients happy and continue to be proactive in their business as you scale your services and support their business growth. It is a delicate balancing act which can drive you mad. And having to juggle all of these responsibilities may cause you to drop the ball at some of the most crucial times. However, below are a few tips to help you manage the process of strategically scaling your accounts.

Prioritize the day

Your working hours are limited, so use them wisely.

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One handy piece of advice would be to start mapping out your time almost down to the minute and assigning numbers to accounts that correspond to their level of importance.

This does not mean neglecting smaller accounts. Falling into a lazy routine with these accounts can cause you to miss opportunities to grow their revenue (and thus your own earnings) or to lose customers altogether.

Restructure your work

Account managers have an ever-increasing list of responsibilities. The top performers have seen success when they delegate some of their work out.

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For example, if you need to concentrate more on the relationship side of the accounts, then you can utilize another employee who might be better at project management. There is no adjusting to this change without experimentation, but the experimentation phase will be a critical time. Confusion or mistakes coupled with changes will make clients understandably nervous about their future. And because a business will always need to be ready to adapt, a high priority must be placed on how to work out the kinks to develop new systems and processes for dealing with problems.

Scale down select accounts

Don’t discount the process of scaling a business down or firing yourself from an account entirely.

By shrinking the scope of certain work arrangements, you free up time to allow you to either seek new business or strategically scale higher-potential accounts. At the same time, you will want to avoid over-servicing accounts just because your schedule is more flexible as the enthusiasm may be off-putting to a client.

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Navigate roadblocks

As a business expands, so do the layers of bureaucracy.

So, when you read news about one of your clients hitting a revenue milestone or getting a new round of financing, it may be the perfect time to initiate discussions about scaling your services with them. However, this must be done skillfully as growth can be both an exciting and tumultuous time for workers.

Though your contacts may have bigger budgets to purchase your products and recruit your services, they may need to start seeking additional approval from their supervisors and managers. When you deliver your first sales pitch, gather information about who the other decision makers may be and figure out what you can do to get their buy-in as well.

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Insist on a progressive timeline

It’s a big shock to the system if anyone jumps from spending $200 a month to $2,000, even when it is clear that doing so would be a wise investment. To help ease your clients into an aggressive spending spree, suggest slow increases to their budget over time. That way, they can go from spending $200 this month to $500 next month, $1,000 the month after, and finally $2,000 a month after 60 to 90 days.

This can alleviate a client’s anxiety as it mitigates their risk and gives you the opportunity to prove that they are making the right investment by purchasing your product or recruiting your services.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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