By combining practical sales experience and good research, this book gives you the tools, techniques, and real life examples to help you to plan how you will create the appropriate contacts and develop profitable, professional relationships with your key accounts. For 25 years across 40 countries plus 26 of the American states, the Resource Development Centre (RDC) has helped thousands of salespeople to plan, sell, and then celebrate success. Many RDC clients have been current Blue Chip businesses that have learned how to plan and sell more successfully to their major customer accounts. Other clients have improved their buying techniques and their relationship management skills. The RDC philosophy is centred on business ethics and a principled approach to both buying and selling that maximises the value of the outcomes for both parties in the relationship. Many of our clients have benefitted from our approach to ‘Transformational Account Development Planning’ which elevates both buyers and sellers from purely transactional dealings into a strategic framework, and paves the way to a transformational relationship.Alan McCarthy has personally planned and managed high profile business relationships and also coached other professionals in account development planning throughout his career. He began as an award winning salesman and managed key accounts at different times for Rank Xerox, Exxon, US Lines and ICL. Alan founded RDC in 1987 and began training, developing, and consulting in Relationship Selling, Target Account Management, Sales Team Direction, and Negotiating. He has conducted over 530 assignments and his wide range of training material is firmly based on experience to encourage the development of pragmatic skills. His unique style and experiences in high-stake relationships has helped his clients to plan, develop, and transform their key accounts. Alan continues to deliver successful programmes to a wide variety of clients including Microsoft, Oracle, BT, and Siemens plus a large number of smaller companies in a broad range of industries.Steve Hay has been an associate of RDC since 1987. He began his career as a commercially oriented Accountant then developed a proven record of success in a variety of relationship management roles in technology, banking, governance and risk management. His consultancy work in the UK and overseas has benefitted from his track record of driving value creation through continuous improvement, and motivation of teams. At different times in his career he has been accountable for planning and delivering major investments, deciding key purchasing strategies, developing relationships with strategic suppliers and managing those accounts so they deliver the expected benefits and returns on investment.The primary skill sets needed for success in account management revolve around industry knowledge, a grasp of wider business drivers, communication skills at senior executive level, value creation, persuasion and negotiation skills—but what is often forgotten are the critical skills and disciplines in planning. This book will help you to fill that gap. It describes how best to prepare the information you will need and to plan the concrete steps you will take to make the appropriate contacts and forge the sort of engagements with your key accounts that you can develop into profitable, professional relationships. The more experienced salespeople are, the more likely they are to admit that the better they plan, the luckier they are with that next big deal. The best account managers get the sequence right: plan first; then sell; then enjoy the celebrations. We are confident that after acting on the guidance in this book you will also be able to say, “The better I plan, the luckier I am”.