How to Develop Effective Executive Relationships

Post Date: 07/28/2022
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You know what they say: it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Having a strong partner-vendor relationship can mean the difference between a creative joint effort and lackluster teamwork. But what can you do to strengthen those bonds?

In this episode of P2PNow, we’re taking a look at ways you can develop meaningful executive relationships. We home in on scheduling tips, how to create personal connections, and what doesn’t work in the grand scheme of things. Watch the session below or read on for a full transcript!


Christian: Today’s episode will be focused on how to develop effective Executive Relationships, specifically between a partner and the vendor. Sam, I don’t feel like we ever hear firm guidance on how exactly how this is done effectively. What are some things you’ve seen work in the field?

Sam: Well it’s always fun to start with what doesn’t work. I’ve typically seen three things cause an opportunity for an executive relationship to fail from the start. The first is the executive not understanding the value of the vendor or vice versa, the vendor’s executive not understanding the value the partner provides.

This one requires a bit of “managing up.” The team bringing the executive on the call should prepare one or two paragraphs worth of a briefing to ensure key metrics like location, revenue, specialization, etc are known. At AvePoint, we have an Executive Briefing template for these conversations.

Christian: Another pro move is to schedule time on your executive’s calendar to actually review the briefing. As much as we try to be concise, if it’s an important meeting you’ll want to make the time. 

Sam: Yup that’s another great idea! Next, there is a clear resolution desired with actionable next steps. While meet and greet sessions are great. The best use of an Executive Relationship is overcoming objectives that require an executive. 

Christian: That’s an excellent point. This could be making the decision to work together on a new campaign and then going into detail on who to work with. Or overcoming a blocker to continue executing an existing initiative. 

Sam: That’s right. Lastly, make a personal connection. If you’re a rep trying to foster this relationship, identify a common interest to bring up and leave time for some non-business discussion. 

Start the conversation off to break the ice and leave enough time to make more personal connections. People work with people they like. 

Christian: People they like and people they trust! To recap, ensure the value is understood, identify a decision to be made, don’t make it all business. These are soft skills that are easy to miss or consider unimportant. But the best account managers know the value of these executive relationships. 

Sam: That’s right. And if you want to start building that relationship with the AvePoint team. Join the partner program at 

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An Office Apps & Services MVP and Microsoft Regional Director, Christian Buckley is an internationally recognized author and speaker and runs the community-focused CollabTalk blog, podcast, and tweetjam series.

View all posts by Christian Buckley

Sam Valme is Senior Director of Partner Experience at AvePoint, working out of our Arlington, Virginia office.

View all posts by Sam Valme
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