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Archive for November 2011

The keys of a strong partnership

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The keys of a strong partnership

We are close from year end, and traditionally, it is the time to look to the perspective for next year. The financial crisis, we thought it was over, is still there, and it creates uncertainty for the coming months.

I was attending an event some days ago, organized by a recruiting partner. In his speech, the managing director was mentioning these uncertain times, and the necessity to build strong teams and partnerships in order to do business and maximize chances to get opportunities in such difficult environment. Indeed, when economical environment is bad and that the markets are decreasing, the struggle between competitors is more intense, and the customers have more power to dump the prices for acquired services. But is the price the only strong argument to choose a contractor or supplier for services? It is probably an important one on a short term basis, but if you want to maintain sustainable partnerships on a long term basis, there are other important keys on which you will get more return on investment. What are these keys?

  • Trust and accountability: Trust is essential between members of a partnership. Each people have to know that he can count to his partners to provide solutions to a problem or a challenge, and that he will contribute to the collective success.

  • Integrity: Integrity is linked to trust and is a major component of it. Integrity and honesty is a guarantee of a good reputation. Don’t forget that it takes a long time to build a strong and good reputation but only few minutes to destroy it. Lack of integrity can not have only negative consequences for the person who is lacking of integrity but for the whole team.

  • Quality of services: The customer is expecting a level of service for the paid price. To offer the lowest price is not the only argument to acquire business opportunities. The ratio Quality/price is much more important. Each service has a price. The customer can understand that, but on the other hand, try always to offer a little bit more than what the customer is expecting. You will first meet his expectations, and he will certainly contract again your services in the future.

  • Professionalism: Professional attitude is essential. If there is any problem that can block the success of a project, talk about it with the customer and try to find with him an appropriate solution. If you can not offer the needed service for a determined problem, try to find a solution or a contractor who has the competence to solve it. You can always playing, not only as a service provider but also as a solution provider. By looking for a solution for the customer, you will make it save a lot of time.

  • Network: Build a strong network of professionals. It is a good way to provide solutions to the customer I am referring in the previous point. The quality of collaboration you will have with these people will make that they can recommend you and contribute to build and let know your good reputation. By having such behavior, your partners will not forget you and will come back to you with some opportunities you can take.

  • Team spirit: Team spirit is essential. As contractor, you will need the collaboration of employee of your customer to achieve goals. Stay humble and share also with them the solutions you are suggesting. Each challenge offers a win-win situation which empowers collaboration and partnership.

 A strong partnership based on the values I mentioned above is essential in the business, and particularly during difficult times, when you have to make the difference with your competitors. Partnership and collaboration are better solutions than competition. Competition is only useful if it contributes to motivate people of a team each other, in order to provide a better quality of services. Building a strong partnership creates a mutual motivation between stakeholders, creates a win-win situation where we can learn from each other, acquire knowledge and contribute to provide high added-value services and solutions. This is an important point that customers have to keep in mind to build long term collaborations. When companies are facing recession times, they are decreasing costs, cutting contracts and decreasing personal costs. Such restructuring process means a loss of know-how and do-how. To rebuild such team and reach again the same level of quality en efficiency, takes long time and cost a lot of money. On the other hand, people having talents like challenges and interesting projects. They like also companies where they can work with talented and professional people. By having a long-term vision and opened to flexible solutions, they can build and maintain strong partnership and ensure a sustainable business.


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

November 24, 2011 at 19:20