MILLIONS of people worldwide watched former United States president Bill Clinton speak at this year's Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Mr Clinton's interpersonal skills as a communicator were engaging. With a clear understanding of the looming US presidential election, his speech helped align his audience to a new hope and change by supporting Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Mr Clinton understood that the key factors in winning new business (votes) and in sealing his statesman status was to speak with such conviction that he could convert all Bill and Hillary Clinton alliances into new votes and cash to secure Mr Obama's position as the only viable choice as the US president.

Common ground

A presidential campaign and managing key accounts have something in common.

Today's top producing key account managers must develop and deliver their trademark strategies to ensure that their unique benefit and service advantages are distinctly positioned apart from all others in their industry.

Mr Clinton knew that success with all voters was in combining their efforts into one political outcome. His ability to quickly forge trust and uniformity with countless new and veteran party voters played a role in helping the charismatic Mr Obama become the next US president.

Grow the relationship

Listening to and anticipating customers' true needs and then exceeding their expectations at every occasion, whenever possible, builds trust.

When clients understand that their needs are given priority, it is certain that they will help you to meet your goals too.

Personal and business relationships thrive in an environment of honesty, trust and connection. When clients trust you enough to engage your services, referrals and new opportunities will come knocking on your door.

When clients know that they count most, you will not have to ponder about business loyalty or respect because you have earned it.

Take, for instance, airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and British Airways, which are well known by first and business-class travellers on long-haul international routes.

Airline customers with American Express, Visa or MasterCard memberships stay loyal to these airlines because they may sometimes be offered an exceptional value component such as business or first-class seats offered at two for one to only the highest level of credit card holders.

Clients of these airlines know that there is a full range of benefits with every flight. These highly rated airlines make it easy for their key clients to fall in love with them from the moment they check in until they get off the plane at their final destination.

The airlines' high-level client managers, in their role as key account representatives, focus on their success processes, attention to detail and the delivery of their promises.