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Business relationship management

Business relationship management: area of work

Developing long-term relationships with customers to maximise sales opportunities.

What it involves

Business relationship management (also known as client relationship management or simply relationship management) is focused on building relationships with a wide range of customers, clients or businesses. You could be winning new business and forming new relationships or building on existing relationships, making sure the needs of your clients are met at every step of the way.

You could be working for a large bank or financial services organisation, looking after business clients and making sure they have the right financial products, services and advice. Or you could be working for a recruitment firm, developing new business opportunities and building relationships with recruiters.

Day to day you might be:

  • networking with the local business community
  • making product presentations
  • identifying areas to develop the business
  • wining and dining an important new business contact
  • ensuring your existing clients are satisfied through rigorous feedback and after-sales care.

What’s required

You’ll need to be a great communicatorconfident and comfortable talking to new people, as well as colleagues and clients from all levels of an organisation. To win and keep new business, you’ll need to be tenacious, not to mention proactive and highly self-motivated – you can’t wait for the clients and opportunities to come to you.

Some big graduate employers in areas such as IT, finance and consumer goods run sales graduate schemes that focus on building and managing relationships with clients. You may need at least a 2.1 degree to be considered and you may be expected to have a degree in a relevant subject, for example, an IT company may seek IT or business graduates for its sales graduate scheme. Depending on the sector you go into, relevant work experience will be invaluable, as will any roles where you have been able to develop customer-facing skills.

You can find relationship management roles in all kinds of organisation, so where you look for opportunities and information will depend on the sectors you’re interested in.