Debit and Credit

In business, you always want your bank account to be in credit so you don't end up with a negative balance. Because you just never know when an unexpected expense might pop up.

I look at partnerships and relationships the same way.

Imagine all your business relationships are tanks. And every time you worked on building or nurturing those relationships, you gradually filled up people's tanks.

And then COVID hit and sprung a leak in every tank because:

🔹 You can't meet for coffee
🔹 Presentations are Zoom meetings scheduled in between other Zoom meetings
🔹 People are under huge amounts of pressure from work and family situations
🔹 Conversations are purely focused on work, tasks, and checkboxes
🔹 When you can't get in the room with people, you get more friction, disappointment, and misunderstanding

If you put in the work, your relationships with full tanks won’t run empty any time soon. Long-term partnerships have a strong foundation of shared understanding and trust, even when things get rocky.

At The Edison Agency this full tank philosophy has been critical to getting us through COVID. 

Coming into the pandemic, if we hadn't invested so much in building relationships, we could have found ourselves in some hot water. 

And over the past 18 months, we've continued to invest by:

🔹 Recognising and expressing empathy for what our customers, clients, staff, and peers are going through
🔹 Looking at ways we can reduce their pain points, rethinking our product offer and using this opportunity to change up some things that weren't working

But what if you've got a new client and haven't been able to build up the tank yet? Particularly if you haven't been able to meet face-to-face at all due to the pandemic?

With our new clients in the past 18 months, it has been more challenging. 

But we try to invest really hard up front by:

☑ Adding value where we can 
☑ Thinking about how we can create efficiencies for them
☑ Taking the time to get to know them and their business needs
☑ Seeing what other opportunities there might be to help them improve their business

Essentially, we immerse ourselves in the client, trying to understand who's in the industry, how they behave, what pressure they're under, what their pain points are, and how we can best support them.

It's a lot of time and effort. It's not necessarily work that we're paid for. But it’s worth it because we grow our business with longer term client relationships. 

In turn, the customers we love working with are those who do the same, appreciate the work and effort we make and stop to say “thanks”.

I’d be interested to know…

How are you filling your clients’ and partners’ tanks during COVID?

This post is part of The Edison Agency 10 year reflection series, covering some of my biggest takeaways from the past decade in business. Read the blog here:

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