Do Relationships Matter Anymore?

“Amid unprecedented change for business, relationships matter more than ever.” claimed Mr. Joe Sweeney, the Editor of Ingram’s Magazine, a widely distributed local Business Publication.

To say that I was surprised by this pronouncement is an understatement. After all, a $50K car can be bought from a vending machine and a $500K home mortgages can be acquired from an app on a smart phone.

Ironically, according to this editor, it is precisely because of these disruptive changes in how business is transacted that relationships may matter more than ever. Also, the importance of establishing a connection will vary according to the service or product one is buying or selling. Is this theory applicable to the leasing industry?

Since ours is a B2B Business and the essence of our “product” is term debt, we are more motivated than most to get to know our customers, both the equipment dealers and those who book a lease with us.

A disclaimer here. I am a people person and enjoy learning about the various businesses we encounter. This interaction enriches my life and also gives me a sense of satisfaction to have the opportunity to provide a necessary service.

On the other hand, what are the advantages for equipment vendors and leasing customers to also connect with their finance provider of choice? Not all lease providers are alike, despite being in the same industry

For equipment vendors, it is good to be confident that the company you suggest to your leasing customer will treat them as you would want them treated. You can’t risk losing their business due to the actions of the Lease Provider you recommended.

For end users, the contract term can last anywhere from 2 – 5 years. If the customer wants to continue to use the same lease provider for subsequent acquisitions, as most do, this would lengthen their business association. A lot can happen in that time frame and it is preferable to have a relationship with your creditor. 

Unfortunately, with a greater reliance on social media, including apps and online tools, to conduct business, there is a diminished importance placed on establishing a relationship with a business associate. While some transactions do lend themselves to a “vending machine” or an online application tool, the reality is that there are some business agreements that are more consequential.

Let us know if we may be of service,

Kevin F. Clune, CLFP
Clune & Company