How To Establish Trust in Your Business Partnerships


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When you see a successful company, it seems like its success has gone on overnight: a Cinderella story, if you will. We all know this is not the reality. But the best thing about building and managing your own business (although it is sometimes extraordinarily challenging) is that it allows you to grab what’s broken and rethink the structures around it. This process has helped us define our principles and create practices that not only produce great work, but also happy workers and satisfied customers.

After more than ten years of counteracting conventional business rules, we have developed a new set of rules we live by. Sure, the traditional ways of finding new business and bringing people together to work on projects still exist, but recent years in particular have helped a new way of working take flight, and it’s one we at Gather have been improving on. silence. , just waiting for the world of work to catch up.

Even though we did, it gave us an idea of ​​how to bring the best people together to get the best result. Whatever industry you are in, work paradigms from anywhere have made it possible for you to find the best people for any job regardless of their location. The world of work has changed forever; we think it’s time to change it.

Related: How do I know who to trust in business

References only

The rule: your skills as an interviewer will result in great hiring.

The new rule: assume that your ability to select candidates is average at best.

Ninety-three percent of Americans believe they are better-than-average drivers. This is obviously not statistically possible. So I ask you, do you think you are a better than average interviewer? Well, what if you are not? Most people are simply not trained on how to properly interview job candidates, outside of avoiding any potentially illegal questions (and even then, one in five interviewers does so unknowingly anyway). ). When you accept or assume that you are probably an average interviewer, you may want to consider other ways to filter candidates. We’ve been operating with a “refer and endorse” system since day one, and it’s brought some serious power players to our doors, many of whom are still here 10 years later.

Any salesperson will tell you that word of mouth is the most effective advertising, and so is the template. While we encourage anyone to join Gather’s ranks, every person who eventually becomes a member must be recommended and endorsed by an existing member. There’s no cover letter, resume, or application process here, because these things don’t tell us what we need to know about how you work and the results you can produce.

There’s the old adage, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” In our community, these two things are true. Who you know may put you at the door, but it is what you know (not to mention how you apply this knowledge, as well as your general work ethic and attitude) that gives them the security of giving you a personal guarantee. There is no more vote of confidence than this. And the fact is that referrals have a much higher job satisfaction and retention rate.

No matter how big the network (and size should never be your goal above quality), every step of this growth is based on the trust you have earned with effort. Both we and our customers know that all members we add have been personally recommended and endorsed by community members.

Related: 7 Tips to Build Confidence to Use in Your Business

Double subscription

The rule: do what they tell you.

The new rule: double acceptance method.

There is an old, but unfortunately still relevant, joke in the world of consulting: workers are told to volunteer to work on a project. We live in the midst of the so-called “Great Resignation”; assigning an employee or consultant a task as if it were some kind of gift should be a thing of the past.

At its core, all work consists of solving a problem. We are dedicated to forming teams around customer issues. So when we give our network of freelancers the power to raise their hand and say “Yes, I want to work on this project, with this team and for this client,” the dynamic really shows up when the time comes. execution.

In today’s economy, the new best practice is a double acceptance method. Workers want to be as informed about the project and the partners they work with as the companies that hire these workers. When both parties can choose, it is a true meeting of equals. This means that full consent to carry out the work comes from both directions. Regardless of the service you provide or the product you sell, giving your employees the power to embrace the work they are doing not only works wonders for morale, but promotes higher quality results, because it is the job that they are doing. you are passionate.

Related: Everything you need to know about trade associations

RFP = corporate mediocrity

The rule: RFPs result in the best providers.

The new rule: trust your partners, not the process.

There is a reason why some people live by writing documents such as grant applications and industry proposals: they follow very specific conventions and languages ​​and, as such, are a recipe for a very particular type of mediocrity that is endemic. of the corporate sector.

Request for Proposals (RFPs) is a clearly inhumane practice and is the worst way to judge what type of partner you will be working with. RFPs exist for lack of trust. The reason we only work with trusted partners is because we want relationships with people, not the client’s trust in our talents to keep us within the strict guidelines of proposal writing.

We’ve worked with some of the most important business names in the world, but that’s not the pen of our cap. The trust we have established in our community is person-to-person, and we strive to achieve the same relationships with our customers. As an owner-operated business, we make decisions about the next client or project based on the type of work, the type of client, and the suitability for the members of our network. This is a clearly different approach to responding to RFPs.

The output of an RFP is of artificial precision. The result of an RFP is an unfulfilled promise. Companies rarely get talent on the page. Service providers make the sale and then provide the talent after making the deal. We have found that call for proposals often means using a B team to support the work. I want our customers to know who they’re buying from, and that’s Hilary or Trinity (or any number of exceptionally talented people working at Gather). this is the service.

The rules are made to break. Above all, remember that your current rules are just that: current. Challenge them. See how well they bend before breaking (under controlled conditions). The new rules will become the pillars on which to build your business through a process of evolution, rather than the ones you applied simply because that’s how the business was done.

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