If you make a habit of reading your customers’ annual reports, good for you. The bad news, however, is that the one you have is probably 15 months out of date as of this week. The good news is that it’s that time of year again—at least for companies whose fiscal year ends December 31. New annual reports are just being delivered to stockholders, and are available online in case you did not receive a hard copy in the mail.
Now is a good time to dust off your key account plan, using the latest annual report as fodder to update necessary information.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to reserve annual reports just for existing accounts. In fact, the latest annual report, and the information it contains, is a great excuse to get back in touch with those prospects who haven’t been returning your calls. It shows you’re on top of things and gives you excellent specific information you can use to develop a value proposition.
Finally, the good news is that you don’t need to read it from cover to cover. If you need a reminder on how to do a focused reading, check out this post. And, if you want an in-depth education on how to use annual reports and the financial information they contain, get a copy of Bottom Line Selling: The Sales Professional’s Guide to Improving Customer Profits.
· If necessary, pull the entire account team together to ensure shared understanding and to discuss and brainstorm new approaches to the account.