People talk about the three most important things in business being: location, location, location. And for some brick & mortar businesses that is certainly true, but for many of us who work virtually with clients all over the world, I believe that the three most important things in business today are: partners, partners, partners.
As a small but mighty company, every team member plays a significant part in our success. And outside of our salaried team members, SRH regularly relies on our trusted partners to help us to exceed our clients’ expectations. Just like we don’t want to be labeled as a vendor to our clients because we aspire to be a true partner in every sense of the word; we build long-time relationships with our partners with the same level of trust and respect.
I’m a person who strongly believes in building relationships. Many of my friendships are ones I’ve maintained since grade school through handwritten letters after I was often uprooted and moved cross-country. Well before there was social media to keep us connected, there was the desire to maintain strong ties with the people we value most. Investing in personal and business relationships requires time and attention, and the return on the investment can’t be predicted or quantified… And it’s always worth it.
Here’s a list of the qualities that our best partners possess:
- Daring & Responsible
Often we are in the trenches together and through these sometimes tricky-to-execute missions, we learn from each other. For years, we have worked with Rob Schoonover, our go-to Video Production Manager. Rob has earned our respect and admiration because he is always seeking ways to over-deliver and an excuse to do the coolest scenarios possible, even when it means magnifying the risk and complexity for him. On the flip side, Rob helps us mitigate risk for clients by challenging perilous plans—like when we’re trying to jam too much story into one video. He’s the best of both worlds: daring and responsible.
Yup. Here’s our favorite word again. We talk about trust a lot at SRH, and trust in partnerships is probably the most important quality for us. When we make the decision to introduce our hard-won clients to a partner, we are risking our reputation so a high level of trust must be present for us to take the risk.
And just as we are taking a risk, so are our partners. They bring their reputations and expertise and trust us to give them the tools they need to perform at their highest level. Perhaps most importantly, we give them the freedom to make our work better.
Milly Sauber, our Director of Media works closely with the team at Morgan Murphy. Tim McCaffrey, Shane Pittser and Nicole Kahl know when to push the boundaries of placement or an audience during the planning process, and they have never underdelivered during a campaign. We trust in their expertise and understand the seriousness in which they take their craft, so we invite them to bring their best ideas so we all win: client, partner + SRH.
- It’s who you know: The Halo Effect
An additional byproduct of working with our best partners is the ‘halo effect’ they give us. In addition to all the tangible ways that we benefit from partnerships: learning, growing, making cool sh*t even better… we get the added benefit of ‘The Halo Effect’.
Because our partners have spent their entire careers learning from their clients and honing their craft; today they are playing at the top of their game, we get the benefit of their hard-earned respect by association.
Sue Northey is a partner who we’ve relied on to distill complicated research assignments and turn them into digestible, tangible results. She is an active listener and consistently delivers insights that allow us to take clear and decisive action (that’s backed up by solid data). She is humble and always brings her A-game. We learn from her on every project and our clients love her no-nonsense approach to complex research projects. And they love us because she’s so damn good.
And I must mention here one of our all-time favorite partners… Mark Borchardt who judged our individual submissions for our 2020 agency holiday videos. Mark provided our whole team with the most wonderfully cosmic assessments of our singing performances. Mark, we cherish your unique gifts and thank you for raising the bar at SRH.