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3 Ways to Understand Your Clients’ Needs

By Britt Hansson

Jul 13, 2020

About 6 minutes

Four years ago, my former employer Tech Data IBM sent me to its big event in Vegas for a day-long digital marketing workshop. Little did I know that TSL President David English was the one conducting the workshop. I left that day finding the information incredibly valuable, and so did the partners that attended. Even though I was the only distributor there, I never felt singled out or out of place. It was my first experience working with the TSL family.

A year later, I was working directly with TSL as one of their clients. Then, one year after that, I signed on as the agency’s Enterprise Account Manager. I haven’t looked back since.

TSL employees Brian Shilling and Britt HanssonTSL Marketing Enterprise Account Manager Britt Hansson poses with TSL's VP of Sales Brian Shilling. Hansson was previously a TSL client.

As someone with the dual perspective of former client-turned-account manager, I have been able to see both sides of the table when it comes to TSL’s work. I have personally experienced the challenges and highlights from both ends of the spectrum. I know what it feels like to invest in agency work AND how to engage with customers interested in investing.

The bottom line is to meet clients’ needs and create a situation that benefits both parties as much as possible.

Here are 3 considerations that can help get us there.

#1: Reduce Anxiety as Much as Possible

As a client, I found TSL’s presentations and proposals to be very impressive. Now, as an account manager, I try to put myself back into those shoes and determine what information clients find most useful.

Approaching presentations in a way that reduces client anxiety by eliminating fluff and not coming off as salesy is key. Be as transparent about budget as possible by providing options that clearly explain the investment. Clients need to walk away knowing that the proposal can actually fit into their budgets.

#2: Create a Professional Environment

Once you’ve built trust with the client, maintaining professionalism speaks volumes. When I was at Tech Data, I noticed how effective, organized, professional, and responsive the TSL team was toward me. I liked their professionalism and began to wonder what it would be like to work for such a professional agency.

Additionally, TSL’s efficiency with their work was very impressive. When I was tasked by my supervisor at Tech Data to identify an agency, TSL got back to me right away and even sent me a proposal that same day. I was in a time crunch and TSL responded immediately, leading the company to ultimately win my business.

Once we started working together, I continued to take note of TSL’s expertise of the distribution channel. They had the right strategy and approach to meet my goals and were willing to discuss the process every step of the way. I was never lost or confused about what the agency was delivering, and I felt like a vital part of the team.

#3 Deliver Quality Results

Before TSL, I was struggling in my attempts to find an agency that could support me with qualified leads. However, once I started working with this agency, I was proud to deliver quality leads to our sales staff. Thanks to our partnership, I was able to contribute to my team in a big way.

Now that I’m on the other side of this exchange, I see firsthand how clients get there. TSL has incredible team collaboration when it comes to troubleshooting, brainstorming new ideas, and sharing best practices. We get the work done because we’re all committed to doing so. And this camaraderie and support extends company-wide, from our leadership team down to every employee — myself included.

The Benefit of Dual Understanding

As an account manager, I can relate to my clients’ needs because I was once a client and understand their needs and concerns. I treat my customers like I wanted to be treated when I was in their shoes. I feel their pain and understand their needs.

As a TSL team member, I feel fortunate to be a part of a team that genuinely gets along. I am proud to be a part of a professional and supportive work environment that energizes us to be the best we can be.

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Tags: B2B Marketing, advertising, Distribution Channel, Channel Marketing and Sales, Demand Generation for the Channel, Account Management, Client Relations, Sales Tips, Channel Enablement, Tech Data