As someone who is an immigrant working in Manitoba, I’ve gone through quite a learning curve over the last three years. Having come from a working environment that was London and New York, the workplace culture and the business culture here has been an adjustment – of a good kind.
The business culture in both London and New York (though I was on Long Island mostly) is very fast paced, somewhat cutthroat, and has an element of ‘what have you done for me today’. It doesn’t encourage the building of long term relationships, and certainly doesn’t encourage the most valuable type of business – referral business.
What I discovered when I started at Modern Earth, as Sales Manager, was that Manitoba was a very different type of place to do business in. Here – relationships are everything, and it’s not ‘what have you done for me today’ – it’s ‘how have we worked together over the last 3 years’. What that breeds is a willingness to refer clients to other clients, and to help others build their business.
This last week I was meeting with a potential new client, who identified one of their target markets during our discovery process. As it happens (and with over 700 clients, this happens quite often), we’ve done web design and SEO for several Winnipeg based companies within that target market. So……on my return to the office (we always like to meet potential new clients in their offices if we can – for the reasons see my blog post next month), I contacted my clients, and we’ll see whether they would like to be introduced to each other.
It’s things like that which add value to the relationships we bring, and bring our clients closer to each other. People remember things like that, especially here in Manitoba, and that only leads to more business for everyone. For exactly that reason we are active in many networking groups – BNI, Chambers of Commerce to name but 2. Relationships are everything.