Boosting the bottom line: the benefits of a more collaborative approach
In a conversation recently with one of our clients who is not known for taking prisoners in his corporate life, he told us out of the blue about a conversation he had just held with one of his external suppliers.
Over a catch-up lunch at the invitation of the supplier, who had no particular agenda in mind, the supplier mentioned a possible new project whose sponsors could be keen to use our client as a customer. There was no real benefit to the supplier in making this introduction. This initiative startled our client who went on to pitch successfully for the business.
“We were so used to having fights over supply contracts, and I also have a bit of a reputation for extracting the last drop out of colleagues and stakeholders in any type of negotiation. I was pleasantly surprised that this supplier had taken quite a different approach.”
The lesson here is that not only is there more to business development than a relentless pursuit of the bottom line. There is a also a human aspect to relationships which generate transactions which in turn generate profits. In our work with clients, we focus not only on their role and its responsibilities but also on their broader stakeholder environment and how effectively they interact with everyone around them at different levels.
We find (as numerous studies do) that the most powerful way of boosting the bottom line often lies right under people’s noses, requiring no more budget or resources to increase profitability.