The business of managing globally mobile talent is fast-moving and logistically challenging. There are few one-size-fits-all solutions. It’s a world where the needs are varied and new challenges are the norm of day-to-day operations. Whether you are a relocation management company, one of the vendors in the network, or an intercultural services provider, you are destined to rely on partnerships in order to ensure the best service possible.
Making the most of a business partnership takes a multi-pronged approach. At Globiana we recognize that staying relevant means adding value well beyond your product. While staying focused as a business partner, you need to keep the big picture in mind, reminding yourself that it’s the end result that matters to the client.
The wider-view approach — adding value beyond product
There are plenty of buzzwords that go into defining a business partnership — deliverables, ROI, processes, deadlines, etc. And while these represent important concepts, there are other ideas to factor in as well. It goes without saying that establishing a dynamic, successful partnership means being responsive to the business demands at hand. In our experience, incorporating a wider view of what your deliverables are is equally important.
In practical terms, this means recognizing that the client does not have the same high-level knowledge that you do as a specialist vendor. It means adopting a mindset where, in addition to delivering on your product, you also educate and advocate for your client. In short, you need to:
- Stay on top of trends and developments, educating/informing the client on what these entail for their business
- Be proactive in reporting on metrics and providing feedback regarding program efficiency based on data
- Think outside the box when analyzing risks and potential exposure for the client
Adopting the wider view, you might find yourself supporting a client’s internal development conversations with data and analysis rather than selling your ready-made product. It could result in having to put on your consulting hat and assist a client in devising a customized product that will not be widely used outside of that collaboration. It also means being able to give strategic advice about which of your products/services will be most advantageous for your client.
Lastly, understanding the larger context and adding value beyond your product is important because it’s how you build trust. And as with most partnerships in life — business or personal — trust is a crucial component of a long-lasting relationship.
Recognizing your limitations
Perhaps it’s counter-intuitive but part of building a strong partnership is being able to recognize and acknowledge your own limitations. Once you identify your limitations, you can proactively work to make sure they are not a liability. Belonging to a professional business network, for example, is invaluable because being part of a comprehensive solution is better than serving up dead-ends to a growing client. With our partners at WBN (Worldwide Broker Network), we can comfortably make recommendations and introductions to augment our services. Our WBN partners are vetted experts in their respective fields who adhere to the same business standards that we do.
And then there is the human touch…
In a competitive business world, it’s easy to forget that human interactions are what ultimately make a project successful. So, perhaps the most important thing to remember when building business partnerships, is that there is a human behind every email, every decision, and every project implementation. As most everyone in the fields of global mobility and global benefits knows, and what we always come back to — communication is key.
By: Felicia Shermis