You know, over the last few months we’ve had several companies approach us unsolicited and unexpectedly. Some are referrals from partners and some are referrals from other clients, and some simply find us on the interweb.
Fastman also has a really good track-record of keeping clients over a long period of time, in most cases ever since we started only a short 4 years ago or before. For a couple of reasons I’ve been reflecting on what it is that makes clients do that and while we hear contrary stories about other vendors (and I use no names here!) it seems to me that a few minutes putting those thoughts down is time well spent.
Let’s start with passion. Are we passionate about what we do? I’d say generally yes, not just about the products but also about the way people use them. How many conversations have you been involved in about a client that simply “doesn’t get it”, is “missing an opportunity” or is “doing it all wrong!”? That’s the passion coming through and clients see that in what we do and how we go about our work.
Then there’s teamwork. We don’t just send someone out on site and say “there you go, see you in 3 months”. We call, we answer questions, we provide information, and yes – we MSN (gee I hear you say – maybe he does listen!). I remember the relief with some people when we introduced the “assist” concept in timesheets and the passionate arguments I got to justify why we need it.
Of course there is the self-belief. When we go out to client to demonstrate, present and so on we show that not only do we understand our subject (which we do) but that we have confidence in our ability to deliver, even if we are challenged with different requirements or technical challenges. I think we do that, both pre and post sales and I’m sure that comes through.
Finally I’d say we’re generally easy to do business with. I don’t just mean that we don’t need long contracts and many internal approvals before we actually start work, but the most successful engagements are when we just get on with it, act very transparently and work directly with the real client to meet their needs.
To me these are some of the things that make Fastman who we are. It won’t always work out, sometimes events get the better of us and we should expect the odd bump in the road. But if we focus on the things that work for us we’ll continue to be the vendor of choice in our field.