This week I was very excited to receive notification that we have been accepted as an approved supplier for Bloom. Bloom is a company that provides neutral vendor services for professional services firms that want to work with the public sector. For many government organisations and councils, you have to be accredited by Bloom before you can bid for the project.
So, we were super excited to achieve accreditation as there was a particular piece of work we wanted to do but had to be accredited before we could go ahead. And whilst it can seem daunting to put in a tender document and jump through the perceived hoops to get public sector work, and this accreditation now makes that possible for us, that is not the main reason we were so excited to get the accreditation.
No, the reason we were so excited was because a big part of getting the rubber stamp was what your clients say about you. We are fortunate to have worked with some really great clients over the last couple of years and it was very humbling to contact them and ask if they would be happy to speak on our behalf to Bloom and to get such a positive response.
And that made me reflect once again, on the importance of relationships in business and in life in general. The way we see business and our relationships with our clients is as a long term, lifelong (hopefully) thing. We keep in touch with clients, not just through our weekly emails but also through social media, networking, and by picking up the phone and speaking to them.
I believe the quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life and the life of your business. And it is not just external relationships with clients which are key but also internal relationships. If your client understands the business value they get from you they, are likely to be happy, but if they also feel personally valued then you have a loyal fan for life that not even the best financial offer in the world could tempt away.
Equally if your people get value from working for you, they will be happy, but if they also feel personally valued then they will stay longer, and will recommend you to their contacts as clients or as future members of staff.
And if your relationship with your suppliers is good, if your suppliers feel valued by you, they are much more likely to go the extra mile in servicing your account. It is not just about the money for them, they actually LIKE working with you.
Great relationships are win wins for everyone, and yet it is easy to neglect your clients, your suppliers and even your staff, in the ongoing busy-ness of everyday business life. Remember – it is much harder to replace a supplier, a member of staff or a client, then to keep them. So make sure you are allocating time to build upon your existing relationships.
Oh – and when you do great things, or have a good win, or achieve something special – remember it IS ok to shout about it. People that you have a great relationship with will be only too happy to hear about your good times and your wins. So I hope it’s OK with you if I just say “YAY to us!!”.
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Julie Hutchison is co-Director with Jan Sargent of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:
01722 484155 or 07947 823842