Key client management programme – selecting key clients

The purpose of a key client management programme is to nurture your most important clients in order to safeguard them and grow the relationship. Naturally, the first step in this process is to identify your key clients.

It might seem sensible to base your selection on fees generated, but sometimes this is not necessarily the best measure and may result in excluding clients that have enormous potential for your business. We recommend you have a broader view and take other criteria into consideration.

Selecting clients for your key client management programme

So, when deciding which clients to include in your key client management programme, consider the following. Some of these criteria will be more relevant than others depending on the nature of your business.

1. Level of fee income

Is this one of your most significant clients in terms of fee income? How much does the client contribute to overall turnover? Also, consider the profitability of the client, do they give you sufficient profit margin? If not, can this be easily addressed?

2. Potential for increased future fee income

Is there an opportunity to increase fee income in the future – e.g. by selling more of the same, introducing new products or services, or being introduced to other parts of the business?

3. Strength of relationship

Is this a strong and/or longstanding relationship that you need to protect? Is this a fledgling relationship that has potential but you need to invest time in?

4. Products and services provided

What products and services do you currently provide? How well embedded are you and is there potential to upsell?

5. Strategic fit

How well does the client fit the future strategic direction of your business?

6. Brand prestige

How much kudos does this client generate for your business by being a client? Does having this client on your books help you get others?

7. Referral potential

Does this client recommend you and introduce you to other clients/work?

Choose which criteria are most relevant to your business and score your clients against them. If you feel some measures are more important than others, give them additional weighting.

The number of clients you select to include in your key client management programme will be dependent on your overall number of clients and internal resource. It’s best to be sensible and stick to a number that you can sensibly manage.

Once you’ve determined your key clients you can develop an action plan for each one. If you would like a free copy of our key client management programme template, please email us.

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