have said it over and over again. Probably, you will not be trained on how critical connections are to your organization, but you will be expected to know their critical importance. Your boss expects you to know that without crucial connections, your organization will not thrive. It is a fair expectation if you ask me. I just wish that in addition to all those training that organizations do, they should add the all important aspect of “Connections” to the menu. This is important because without connections there is no life.
The Importance of Connections
Over the past four articles, we have broken down different aspects of connections that are important to organizations. I believe that there are two types of connections. There are internal connections (connections of people and their interaction with systems in the organization), and there are external organizations. So far we, have looked at the following things about connections that your boss expects you to know and cherish:
- Connections are our Culture
- Connections are our Vibrancy
- Connections are our conduits of relevance
- Connections are our PR
5. Connections are our Business
Show me a business entity that makes a profit without having any connections. Show me a business entity that increases their bottom line without banking directly or indirectly on connections. There is none that I can think of. As a matter of fact the two Trillion Dollar Companies in the world at the time of writing this are directly connecting people to either communicate, do business or both. These are Apple and Amazon. Your boss therefore expects you to know how critical each connection that the business has is important to the bottom line. There are four or so critical connections that you need to be aware of.
It is John Stuart Mills who famously said:
“Trade is a social act”
1. Connections with Clients
Of course we have already talked about internal connections in the previous post. The first external connection that is critical to the business is the connection directly to the client. A client is not someone that gives you money, that mindset is totally skewed. A client rather is someone that you are so happy to connect with in order to offer them value, solutions and relieve their niggling problems by your presence. In other words, a client is someone for whom you exist to serve and make their existence here on earth not just palatable, but also exhilarating. You can now see how critical this kind of connection is. The more you solve the problem, the more you get paid. With clients though, we need to move from just the mere rudimentary way of offering solutions:
A client is someone for whom you exist to serve and make their existence here on earth not just palatable, but also exhilarating.
a). We need to Innovate:
Offering variety to our clients in an ever changing world helps us to keep our connections with them. Connections are not mechanical things that are set at default and just keep rolling out daily or monthly or weekly. Connections are with life. One can even say that connections are organisms themselves. So we keep innovating on different, unique, better and new ways we can serve our clients.
Related Read: 5 Easy Ways to be a Service Provider of Choice
b). We need to anticipate:
The best way to maintain our connections with our clients is to anticipate their need and solve it even before they have it itch them. It is normally a pleasant surprise to a client . When micro sim cards were needed in the market, some service providers did not anticipate this. Others did and so they provided the opportunity for their clients by perforating the sim cards before hand. That way, clients do not need to look for sim card cutters elsewhere. They save time. Of course many others have now followed suit, but it wasn’t that way from the get go.
c). We need to deeply care:
Harvey Mackay in his book, Swim with the Sharks talks of deeply caring for your connections and their connections for a life time. The worst you can do is to want to connect with a client for the sake of business only. I fired a service provider even before I could hire them because all they wanted from me was “Business”. They quoted for me a hefty figure on something so rudimentary. I let them go. To care deeply is to do life with your connections for a long period of time, and let the business part stay intact.
2. Connections with Service Providers
Your boss expects you to know that the complexity of your organization is broken down into small parts. Some things are taken care of by experts, otherwise known as service providers. Without them, functions of your organization might not run smoothly. How you interact with these connections is critical to the way the organization’s business will perform. Among other things, your boss expects you to know that the comfort your service providers have will reflect in the bottom line. Your service providers are insiders in the organization and they can also “sneeze”you. In other words, if you treat them well, pay them on time, give them all the data they need, support them to the hilt, they will tell the world how good you are.
3. Connections with the Media and the Public
Perhaps, this is the most sensitive connection that you need to know. Politicians know the power of the media. As we speak, the 45th President of the United States is engaged in a war with the media, always criticizing their partisanship and one sided reporting. Connections with the media can make or break you. The media connects you directly to the public. In this day and age, we have social media. You cannot afford to take it lightly. One person can say something negative about the organization and before you know it, you have lost your key clients.
Related Read: Connections are our PR
Whatever the case, your business or your organization will thrive to the extent that you start, nurture and manage great connections with clients, service providers, the media and the public.