A Committed Partnership by Koya Harvey-Walker

28 November 2019

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Good business is built on trust, integrity, commitment and a mutual understanding of respect whilst working towards a shared goal. Whether you’re working in a B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) industry, every commercial role requires a level of collaboration and communication in order to thrive.

Today, I’m going to share a method that has worked a lot for me in the past and given me some fantastic business relationships.

1. Be honest and transparent – things don’t always go to plan but being clear and communicating effectively when there are mishaps ensures that you’ll be remembered more than someone who focuses on maintaining a ‘false’ ‘perfect’ image.

2. Don’t agree to unachievable goals – we’ve all been there and promised the impossible. If your goals are unrealistic for the time period, country, budget or long-term project, be prepared to adjust them and to not agree to them in the first place. Germans have a great word for this “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau” which roughly translates to “egg-laying and milk-giving wool-pig”, clearly this is not possible so it’s better to focus your time on things that are. In this case, setting a SMART business goal is key; when there are multiple opinions, a compromise can often bring even more rewards in the long-term than agreeing to a project that is just not feasible.

3. Demonstrate your added value - this seems like common sense but it’s surprising how different perspectives can have entirely different opinions on the same thing. Make sure that in a B2b or B2c situation, you can have a real impact on the business. Whether in sales, strategy, marketing or service, it’s always good to plan for success and focus on outcomes.

4. Plan and set out an agenda from the beginning - Whether it’s obtaining a retained fee for services in advance or ensuring that important meetings go ahead within the specified timeframes, setting and sticking to the milestones agreed at the beginning of the collaboration is the best way to guarantee success.

5. Communicate. Always – staying in touch is the key and holding each other accountable. You will learn the best way of working internally and externally and eventually a dream team will be born.

These methods combined with GRIT and a lot of hard work should help commitment from your business contacts, clients and partners.