By Todd Murphy | March 3rd, 2011
Over the last few months Universal Information Services has had the opportunity to acquire two outstanding news monitoring companies. On December 31st we acquired Worldwide News Monitor out of Wisconsin and on February 28th we acquired Quality Services of Alaska.
For some, including myself, I always viewed acquisitions as points in time when companies felt expansion was important to their bottom line. After completing three of these acquisitions over the past two years, I have found that buying a going concern, someone’s business, has very little to do with expansion and almost everything to do with adding new relationships.
In this economy, the companies that succeed have found a way to maintain relationships with their customers and users. Relationships, whether with your product or your service, is all that you have to sell. I’m sure there are atypical scenarios contrary to this statement, but they would be the extreme exception to the rule.
A good relationship with your customer is worth far more than the dollars they spend with you. Your happy clients become your greatest advocates and most credible evangelists. Sure, one can engage the #newtools of social media or hire a PR firm to bolster their brand in the business segment of their choice, but that all pales when compared to organically expanding your base of happy customers.
In our recent acquisitions we looked at two things before moving forward: Our relationship with the selling party and the relationships they’ve established with their clients. A relationship based on mutual respect and shared values can ensure a positive process during what can be an emotional time…selling someone’s well built business. If the seller has focused on building relationships with their customers, then the buyer will be gaining loyal customers.
When Universal acquires a news monitoring company the care of their existing customers is our primary focus. We keep it simple. Only after we have begun the process of building our relationship with them do we discuss new services that are now available to them through Universal Information Services.
In this way we’ve found growth through expanding relationships is the best way for us to expand our client base. I’m sure there are other ways to grow, but if you aspire to be the best in your industry I don’t think there’s a better way. Whether you acquire new relationships through an acquisition, or you let your existing clients help you grow your business, it still comes down to the power of that relationship. See our video welcome to our new clients in Alaska.
Tell me what you think. I welcome any thoughts or illustrations that underscore or take exception with the power of the client relationship.