Most PR professionals and agencies agree: it matters who you know. It is a no brainer that it pays off to know who to go to with a specific topic or piece of news. If you know the right reporters or influencers, the results you achieve with PR will improve, both in terms of quality and quantity. Especially if you know them really well.
If you put good connections and relationships into a wider context – business in general – then there are many more benefits that could help professionals and organisations to be more successful and efficient in their work.
At En Serio, we have noticed the following three positive effects as a (direct) result of having meaningful, long term relationships:
#1 Save time: welcoming new clients without long, time consuming competitive pitches
Working on competitive pitches is exciting and sparks a lot of energy and creativity. I like winning from a competitor, but most of all – as a team – we love to get new clients on board. Aren’t we all interested to grow our client or user base? And achieve this in a smart and time efficient way? Let’s look at the numbers.
In the first 7 years we welcomed over 45 of our clients based on our existing relationships, either through a direct connection at the prospect company or through a reference, so without a competitive pitch. On average, we spent around 6 days on average working on each competitive pitch. So, if each of those 45 clients would have been competitive pitches, this would have added more than a year of a single person, being fully dedicated to those pitches. And without the guarantee that we would have the majority of them.
Although these significant time savings were not the main reason for us to focus on long term relationships in the first place, I do see clear benefits from a resource and business perspective. We strongly feel that investing time and effort in the relationships that matter to us now will pay off in the long run.
#2 Freedom: less pressure to keep getting new clients to meet growth objectives
Business and sales experts estimate that it takes anywhere between 4 to 10 times less effort (resources) to retain existing clients than winning new ones. In the past years we were fortunate to hardly lose any clients. To meet our growth objectives, we did not have to replace a lot of ‘lost’ business, but instead focused on nourishing our existing client relationships, resulting in upsell opportunities whilst adding new clients for additional revenue growth.
The way I look at it, is that by being less dependent on new business, it gives us a sense of freedom because there is no pressure or urgency to keep driving (or even forcing) sales all the time. In addition to that it provides room to focus on the things we do well with the clients that are already with us.
#3 It makes work more fun
All the time and business fuzz aside, I strongly believe that working should be fun. And much like our personal lives, we are at our best if we feel happy about the things we do and the people we surround ourselves with. This should not be any different in our professional lives. We pride ourselves that we work with like-minded people: colleagues, clients, journalists, analysts, acquaintances and other personal connections who also value long term relationships. I am in it for the long run, so let’s enjoy it while we are at it!
What is your view on professional connections? Interested to hear about benefits you see as a result of your long term business relationships.