Many businesses operate on “relationship” type selling. There may be price or service competition, but established relationships help identify the decision criteria thus enabling the sale. A last look or information on a key overlooked service aspect are outcomes of well established relationships.
So why is this important in the finance and accounting function of your business? Relationships with vendors, bankers and client accounting departments are just as important to facilitate smooth operations. Understanding vendor payment terms can add 15 to 20 days on a 30 day payable account. Banking relationships are essential so your banker understands your business, your plan and performance. Receivables can sometimes be collected sooner when your client has a positive relationship with your collections person – after all someone has to get the first check mailed each week. Are your accounting staff trained and building meaningful relationships?
Relationship selling can also increase your sales and revenue if you focus on building more relationships and not just focus on increasing revenue from the same sources. Budgeting needs to account for the costs of building new relationships. Prospecting needs to feed real relationships which then create sales. A longer perspective but often resulting in a more productive pipeline once sales start coming out the end of the funnel. Do your financial models reflect the investment and timing of expanding your relationship sales model?