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"My clients"

 
#1 "My clients"
29/07/2015 07:48

Bushy Eyebrow Partner

Hi all. What's the best way to deal with people who are hell-bent on "owning" the client relationship? By which I mean they tend to be involved only peripherally in a piece of work, but then out of the blue, as if from nowhere (but not completely from nowhere, as the client does actually know them), they send the client an email along the lines of "I'd like to give you a call at some point for a catch-up and to check how it's all going". Or perhaps it's much more subtle than that. What does one do in this situation? Assume the other person is senior too. Many thanks!

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#2 RE: "My clients"
29/07/2015 08:10

marsday to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

Bushy you make be over-estimating the threat. In my experience this tends to be indicative behaviour from people who produce very little, so they look around for anything they can attach their name to, and is often a sign of drowning trying to look like waving.

If you make a point of this manoevre you give credence to it. Just treat it as what it is - a non-producing act from someone on the sidelines as in 'thanks Bob, those half time oranges really helped the team win the match'.

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#3 RE: "My clients"
29/07/2015 12:51

Phil to marsday (#2)

I see it as a bit more dangerous/annoying than that.

Sure it might bring little harm, but what if I'm trying to sell something to the client, paying attention to the politics and all the other crap you have to be mindful of and, all at a sudden, some as*hole desperate to make his sales target gives them a call, telling them god knows what and possibly jeopardising it all?

There should be a clear distinction between relationship ownership and sales attribution. If you own the relationship, no contact with senior mgmt of the client should be made without you knowing about it. This does not mean everything that it's sold to that particular client should only have your name attached to it. If another partner with a specific specialisms contributes to sell them something (by taking part to a meeting or else) then he should get some credit too

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#4 RE: "My clients"
30/07/2015 18:42

Mr Cool to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

BEP,

senior or not (in fact its better that they are) always call their bluff. Tell them straight that it makes the firm look silly to have two different people use up airtime with the client when you are the client manager. If they won't back down then take it public at the next management meeting. Open the debate on whether those who's balls are on the line to generate income are afforded the courtesy of managing the client or not.

If its a free for all, then it has to be a free for all for everyone.

Any sensible firm that trust you will back you. Only the firm loses out if this sort of behaviour is left unchecked.

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