By Lana Johnson and Dawn Hayes
If you aren’t yet focused on relationship building, both inside and outside of your organization, it is time. In our experience, quality business relationships are inherently valuable and imperative to an organization’s short- and long-term success.
10 Reason to Form Relationships:
- Builds trust
- Establishes a more equal partnership
- Creates loyalty
- Improves communication
- Improves trust and transparency
- Helps diffuse escalations
- Develops friendships and makes work more fun
- Expands your professional network
- Reduces stress
- Demonstrates commitment for the long-haul
For most organizations, the start of a good relationship begins before the client becomes a client, even before one party reaches out to the other and (at least metaphorically speaking) taps them on the shoulder and asks them to dance. Before engaging, your entire, talented and diverse, “band of experts” must have come together, behind the scenes, to stay seamlessly in step: Building products and services. Demonstrating industry expertise. Focusing on the future of the industry or industries you serve.
While these steps are taking place, you need to learn about the individuals who represent your current or future client. Each one is very different. Each has unique opinions about what matters and what doesn’t, and it’s important to approach them that way. From the onset you should listen and learn how to partner with them. When you take time to understand their goals, their department’s goals, their business’s objectives – any differences in these goals and objectives and why they exist – then you can begin to understand how your organization fits in. You can then plan and adapt in such a way as to help them define and refine their goals and processes … while providing the type of service that is important to them.
You want to give your current and future client a unique experience where, as true and equal partners, both parties work to understand the needs of both organizations and focus on the success of both. It’s as important to them that your organization succeed as it is to you that theirs does, too. And both must be willing to engage in healthy compromise, when required.
It’s also important to create a community, to offer your clients, partners, vendors, and media the opportunity to form relationships with one another. These relationships can lead to different opportunities, such as the sharing of similar experiences, best practices, solutions, and the introduction to other businesses with which to form new alliances.
It’s through these solid relationships that companies can communicate freely and transparently, work together effectively, and celebrate successes as a united team.
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