The power of relationships in business
We talk to Nowcomm’s Corinne Stott, about the 3 important benefits of meaningful relationships at work
Corinne is a Customer Relationship Executive, which put simply, means she makes sure things go to plan and everyone is happy.
She’s the linchpin of Nowcomm, tirelessly liaising with clients, distributors, suppliers, and colleagues – behind the scenes – to get the job done.
It’s a critical role, and companies that don’t have people who do the type of work Corinne does – are beginning to wise up. Like Zig Ziglar once said, the famous American motivational speaker: “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” It’s so true, growing any business is about building relationships.
Richard McLoughlin, Nowcomm’s CEO, describes her as: “The glue that holds Nowcomm together”. And while her work maybe invisible to some, if she disappeared overnight, she’d be sorely missed by her colleagues, her stakeholders and her clients.
Corinne herself says: “I’m not in the spotlight, but I make things happen – and most of the time, it’s behind the scenes.
“I work with a variety of stakeholders – helping them to better understand what’s going on, what’s expected of them, and when we need things from them.”
So, why are meaningful relationships so powerful at work?
We get Corinne’s take on it…
1. People do business with people
This age-old saying splits the crowd. Some business gurus will argue it’s the product, it’s the marketing, it’s the service, it’s the price – that gets you the business. Yes, it’s all those things, but at Nowcomm, it’s the people that bring in the business and keep the business. And when you’ve got clients you’ve had for more than ten years, it’s the relationships that count – and it’s your people that cultivate those relationships.
Corinne added, “For the majority of our clients, it’s not a transactional relationship we have with them. They come to us at different times, with new problems they need us to solve. They know we don’t bamboozle them with technical jargon, and we don’t offer them a one size fits all solution – there are plenty of bigger players in the marketplace that can fit that bill.”
Some clients are also apprehensive about using technology, and the test of a strong supplier-client relationship is when the client can admit their fear of it.
A great example of this, is in the live broadcasting arena. Virtual meetings are now a necessary communications tool for most organisations, who need to work in a more agile way, reducing the cost of travel and wasted time associated with traditional face-to-face meetings. But some people dread them.
Corinne says: “I work behind the scenes to orchestrate things like webinars for clients, making sure everybody knows what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I’m trusted and I’m discreet. I’m not interested in taking the credit for when things go perfectly. For me, I want my clients to look professional, to shine, and to fulfill the objectives they set themselves for their webinars.”
2. People are time poor
Powerful relationships save everybody time. In other words, if you’ve built up a great relationship with a client, they trust you to make things happen – freeing them up to get on with their own business.
Corinne explains, “So, for example, if one of our clients needs to renew their software licences, they can see it as an important, but time-sapping and laborious exercise to do – on top on running their day-to-day business. In this scenario, I’d try and limit the required tasks for the client, and make sure we spoke their language, rather than complicating and delaying things with technical jargon.”
And what’s more, if you’ve done business with a company who delivered for you in the past, there’s often a huge time advantage to be had, in letting them have your business again, rather than going out to tender.
3. People see things from their perspective
Delivering technology solutions to big clients like Sony, Jet2holidays, Welcome Trust, The Coal Authority and BMW – involves bringing together different experts, to come together and do their job. This is when powerful relationships can help to ‘grease the skids’.
Having a Customer Relationship Executive available to help stakeholders see the impact of their actions if they’re late for example, is critical to the success of big, meaty projects.
Corinne says, “IT can be complex, but my job is to make it easy. I do that by keeping stakeholders informed, and making it really simple for people in the process chain, to do their job. And if they’re not, I help them to understand the impacts, allowing them to see things from the perspective of others.”
If you’d like to see Corinne in action, or speak to her about a career in technology, then let us know.