RESEARCH has shown that academic, scientific and business experts often differ on the universal laws, principles and philosophies of success. However they do agree that the desire of a person to become a top achiever is often unmeasurable.

Turning an average producer into a great one can best be done by positive leadership, role models, tested mentoring processes and the application of competency training strategies.

With these factors in place, record books are constantly being rewritten by the achievements of these champions who love to make an impact in commerce and community.

Personal qualities

Over the last 40 years, noted best-selling authors like Tom Hopkins, Tom Peters, Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman have researched top producers in thousands of companies to come up with common factors that define top key account managers. Here are some of those qualities:

1. Appearance

Whether they are dressed in classic styles, the latest trends or a blend of the two, they opt for quality attire, tailored grooming and pay attention to detail appropriate to their personality and role.

2. Pride

They have a tremendous respect for their profession and company. Their sense of pride and security are grounded in examples formulated by their role models.

3. Confidence

Champion account managers radiate a sense of certainty from having developed their skills, industry knowledge and all-round competency levels.

4. Personal warmth

High-level key account managers are curious and interested in the people they serve. Clients like and trust them as their account managers, having proved themselves through integrity and honesty in their dealings.

5. Career achievement

Key account managers are ambitious and driven to achieve their short and long-term goals. Money is a major motivator as is peer acceptance, love of family, community, loyalty and professional fulfilment all key factors that drive them to greatness and accomplishment.

6. Enthusiasm for the job

Their attitude is not turned on or off by the monthly or quarterly budgets and targets management sets. Champions know some days will be amazing and others less so; however, showing up at work is fundamental to progress and success with their clients, their team members and employers.

7. Handling fear and rejection

Top performers learn the difference between the motivators that turn them on and the de-motivators that can shut them down. They are aware of their own weaknesses and build into their game plans corrections and strategies to overcome tendencies to quit due to fear or professional rejection.

8. Performance mindset

Champion producers know that client fulfilment is a minimum expectation. Having a high performance mentality and desire to serve clients beyond the call of their role is required to gain new business and revenue.

9. Team player

Champions look for their own solutions and through the help of their OTPE Other Team Players Experiences. Key clients and accounts demand the attention of their assigned representatives. Teams working together must come up with solutions and new applications that will work best for the client.

10. Skills reinforcement

School is never out for a professional. Higher responsibility and accountability is essential to growth as a key account manager and team leaders move into management roles. Learning new skills is essential to develop a rewarding career for advancement possibilities.

On a scale of one to five, with one being low and five highest, rate yourself in the 10 areas. If you are below a four in any area, it may be time to get back to these basics and recharge yourself.

Focus on client relationships

Customers often do not fully understand products, services or how a company functions or how they will be treated after they hand over their money. However, they do make an instant assessment about you and the relationship during fact finding and customer needs analysis.

The complexity of intangible services and tangible high-tech products increase daily. In most cases, it is the client relationships that are most important, solutions and results second, with products and services third.

Article by Rob Salisbury, a corporate trainer, conference speaker, author and industry MC with bases in Singapore and Sydney.