Welcome to Relationship Capital – a new blog by Joel Barolsky of Barolsky Advisors.
This blog attempts to fill a void in the blogosphere around the issue of key client strategy. There are numerous authors, bloggers and tweeters that focus on corporate and business strategy, and it seems an equal number that provide useful material on developing inter-personal relationships with clients, improving selling skills and mastering influence and persuasion. These are all great, but there’s a missing bit in-between. There are few, if any, that address the big picture of creating and implementing a winning strategy for your firm’s top priority or Tier 1 clients or accounts. By “key client strategy”, I mean painting an expansive long-term vision for the firm-client relationship, setting measurable goals and objectives, crafting a winning game plan to achieve these desired outcomes and monitoring and flexing the plan as execution rolls on and as the firm’s and the client’s needs evolve.
More specifically, in this blog I will seek to provide comment, case studies, links and resources on:
- strategic options to progress key client relationships
- research evidence into firm-client relationship dynamics
- client grading and segmentation models
- client selection and deselection
- key client governance and stewardship
- getting more from client plans and client planning
- the relationship manager role
- relationship manager selection, review and development
- supporting relationship managers with client/market intelligence, analysis and extra hands
- relationship pricing and negotiation
- relationship renewal and dispute resolution
- relationship measurement, audits and review
- addressing challenges in execution.
Another, somewhat more selfish, reason for creating this blog is to hopefully elicit feedback, disagreement (not too much!) and discussion amongst those with a similar interest. Together there is much to learn and explore.
My interest in this topic spans back 20 years when I first started out as an academic at the Melbourne Business School and co-taught one of the first services management courses ever offered in Australia. For 15 years as head of Beaton Research & Consulting‘s strategy practice I had first-hand consulting experience helping clients set up and run key client programs. At Beaton I also got access to extensive research evidence into the drivers and dynamics of key client relationships. In June 2011, I set up Barolsky Advisors to help professional service firms get a better yield from their relationship assets i.e. to build their relationship capital.
Welcome to my blog and I hope you sign-up to receive and comment on my regular posts.