Chapter 3

Managing Key Players

It would be tempting to begin this chapter with a quote from Sun Tzu about knowing the enemy and knowing yourself. That quote, while being predictable and almost trite given its frequency of use, is very valuable when it comes to military strategy. But when discussing key players, we are not talking about the opposition or our enemies. We are speaking of our customers. We want to win their favor, not defeat them. So we think military metaphors, while having their place in sales strategizing, should not be in a chapter about knowing who our customers are.

Rather, this chapter on managing the key players in your targeted accounts will draw on another metaphor: that of a successful courtship. For just as the enthusiastic ...

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