I have a lot to be thankful for as we enter 2016. A professional group of people I enjoy working with, excellent lending products that help small- and middle-size companies grow their businesses, and a referral network that I can share resources with.
I have more than 1,400 contacts and 700+ on LinkedIn. It’s my life blood as a business development officer to stay connected to these people if I can expect 2016 to be a successful year. A phone call, email, letter, personal meeting, speaking engagement, or attending a business event allows me the opportunity to stay connected.
We are building our brand at Hitachi Business Finance and want to be viewed as a group that provides solutions. Our senior management team and I actively participate in business organizations and charity groups to give back, share our experiences, and be a resource. I can’t expect it to be a one-way street where I’m constantly receiving and not giving back to the referral sources that provide me lending opportunities.
I take great pride in being able to mentor a small business or point them in the right direction to a trusted lender or advisor. I have mentored small businesses through Walsh College’s Extreme Makeover Team, and currently participate with the OU/Macomb Incubator and Detroit Regional Chamber. Many times it doesn’t initially result in a revenue-generating client, but they may remember my name or pass it on to somebody in need of financing. I strongly believe in the saying “what goes around comes around.” If you try to help others, it will someday come back to you.
Our business constantly changes and so do the people in it. There is always somebody new to introduce yourself to and explain what you do and learn about what they do. It may take 3-4 meetings before they fully understand what you do, but the time spent will likely pay dividends down the road. Listening and showing interest in what they do helps build relationships that can be long lasting. I intend to stay connected to those I have met in 2016 and develop new relationships that are mutually beneficial to all. Happy New Year!!!
About the Author
Jeff Wright has been with the Hitachi team since 2006 and contributes more than 34 years of experience in the banking and commercial finance industry. He is currently responsible for business development in the Midwest Region, covering Michigan and Indiana. He works with small businesses and their trusted advisor network to provide factoring and asset-based lending services.
Jeff is involved with professional and civic activities including the Turnaround Management Association, Association for Corporate Growth, National Funding Association, Automation Alley, Walsh College Business Leadership Institute and Walsh College Alumni Association.
He can be reached at email@example.com or (248) 259-3749.