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All for One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships by Andrew Sobel

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9

Strategy Seven: Building a Client Leadership Pipeline

Developing and Supporting Client Relationship Managers

How many of your client relationship managers do you think are currently performing at a level necessary to support your future strategy? What percentage is capable of developing and sustaining Level 6 trusted client partnerships where you are working with senior management on the client's most important agenda? When I ask my clients these questions, the answer I am consistently given is that between 20 and 30 percent of their relationship managers can successfully develop and manage Level 6 relationships today; around half can do a solid but not spectacular job; and 20 to 30 percent are underperforming. Yet, most of these same clients will add that many of their relationship managers have the potential to lead Level 6 relationships. Your proportions may be slightly different, but I bet one thing is for sure: You can never have enough of the senior, experienced professionals who are capable of becoming trusted advisors to c-level executives—and then growing that individual relationship into an institutional partnership.

How valuable is a good relationship manager? Assigning an experienced relationship manager to lead and coordinate a client relationship can double the rate of your fee growth. Several of my clients have studied this in their own organizations, and tracked revenue growth in client relationships with and without a dedicated relationship manager and supporting ...

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