How to build trust in your business partnerships

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When you see a successful company, it seems that its success happened overnight – a story about Cinderella, if you will. We all know that this is not a reality. But the good thing about building and running your own business (albeit extremely challenging at times) is that it allows you to take what is broken and rethink the structures around it. This process has helped us define our principles and create practices that not only produce great work, but also happy workers and satisfied customers.

After more than ten years of opposing conventional business norms, we have developed a new set of rules that we live by. Of course, the traditional ways of finding a new business and gathering people to work on projects still exist, but in particular the last few years have helped develop a new way of working and what we at Gather are quietly improving. , I’m just waiting for the world of work to catch up.

While we were doing this, it gave us an idea of ​​how to unite the best people for the best result. Whatever industry you are in, work paradigms everywhere mean you can find the best people for every task, no matter where they are. The world of work has changed forever – we think it’s time to change with it.

Related: How to know who to trust in business

Only referrals

The rule: Your skills as an interviewer will lead to great employees.

The new rule: assume that your ability to screen candidates is average at best.

Ninety-three percent of Americans think they are better than average drivers. This is obviously not statistically possible. So I ask you, do you think you are better than the average interviewer? Well, what if you’re not? Most people are simply not trained on how to properly interview job applicants without avoiding any potentially illegal questions (and even then, one in five interviewers unknowingly does so anyway). When you accept or assume that you are probably an ordinary interviewer, you may want to think of other ways to filter candidates. We’ve been working on the “recommend and guarantee” system since day one, and it has brought some serious, powerful players through our doors – many of whom are still here 10 years later.

Every marketer will tell you word of mouth is the most effective advertising and the same goes for recruitment. While we encourage everyone to join the ranks of Gather, every single person who eventually becomes a member must be recommended and guaranteed by an existing member. There is no cover letter, resume or application process here, because these things do not tell us what we need to know about how you work and the results you can achieve.

There is an old saying: “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” In our community, both are true. Anyone you know can take you to the door, but it’s true What you know (not to mention how you apply this knowledge, as well as your general work ethic and attitude), which gives them the confidence to vouch for you personally. There is no greater vote of confidence than this. And the fact is that referrals have a much higher rate of job satisfaction and retention.

No matter how big the network becomes (and size should never be your goal in terms of quality), every step in this growth is built on hard-earned trust. Both we and our customers know that every member we add is personally recommended and guaranteed by community members.

Related: 7 confidence building tips to use in your business

Double inclusion

The rule: Do what you are told.

The new rule: Double dialing method.

There is an old but unfortunately still relevant joke in the world of consulting: workers have voluntarily DIRECTED to work on a project. We live in the midst of the so-called “Great Resignation”; Assigning an employee or consultant a task as if it were a gift should be a thing of the past.

In essence, all tasks are to solve a problem. We are in the business of forming teams around customer problems. So when we give our network of independent powers to raise their hand and say, “Yes, I want to work on this project, with this team and for this client,” the momentum really shows when it’s time to do it.

In today’s economy, the new best practice is the double-dialing method. Workers want to be as informed about the project and the partners they work with as the companies that hire those workers. When both sides have the right to choose, it is a real meeting of equals. This means that full agreement to carry out the work comes from both directions. No matter what service you provide or the product you sell, letting your employees get involved in the work they do not only works wonders for morale, but also promotes higher quality production because it is the work they do. passionate about.

Related: Everything you need to know about business partnerships

RFPs = corporate mediocrity

The rule: RFP leads to the best suppliers.

The new rule: Trust your partners, not the process.

There is a reason for some people to make a living by writing documents such as grant applications and industry proposals: they follow very specific conventions and language and as such are a recipe for a very specific type of mediocrity that is endemic to the corporate sector.

Request for Proposals (RFPs) is clearly an inhumane practice, and they are the worst way to decide which partner to work with. RFPs exist due to a lack of trust. The reason we only work with trusted partners is that we want relationships with people, not the client’s trust in our talents to stay within strict guidelines for writing proposals.

We’ve worked with some of the biggest corporate names in the world, but that’s not the feather in our hat. The trust we have built in our community is from person to person and we strive for the same relationship with our customers. As an owner-managed business, we make decisions for the next client or next project based on the type of work, the type of client and what is appropriate for the members of our network. This is a significantly different approach from the RFPs response.

The result of RFP is artificial precision. The result of RFP is an unfulfilled promise. Companies rarely get the talent on the page. Service providers make the sale and then provide the talent after the transaction is completed. We found that RFPs often meant attracting a B-team to support the work. I want our customers to know who they are buying and that is Hillary or Trinity (or any number of extremely talented people who work at Gather) – It is the service.

The rules are designed to be broken. First of all, remember that your current rules are just that – up to date. Challenge them. See how far they bend before breaking (under controlled conditions). The new rules will become the pillars on which to build your business through an evolutionary process, not the ones you have applied simply because the business was made that way.

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