Analysis: Do your homework with relationships

04 Feb 2015

I have given a lot of thought to what makes a good relationship in financial services. We have found most businesses want the same things: open communication, transparency, development, support and access to quality people, products and services.

With the recent news of Aviva’s takeover of Friends Life, particularly its provision of ongoing financial support to Sesame, I wondered how its AR firms are feeling about their current relationship.

Perhaps this is not news to those firms and everyone has been kept in the loop. Nevertheless, it would be worrying to read that, were your principal partner’s backer to withdraw financial support, it would be likely that the “business will no longer be viable and will not be able to continue to trade”.

Besides the many questions this is bound to raise on the viability of certain distribution models, it proves the importance of doing your homework when developing a relationship that is so critical to your future – whether with a network, distributor or club.

I advise looking for: success and the ability to share in that success; profitability and financial security; a history of business development and expert knowledge; referrals and recommendations; and, above all, a partner that can deliver on what you want to achieve.

Then you can enter the relationship from a position of relative strength, with your eyes wide open and under no illusions about what you are signing up to. To do anything else would be selling yourself short.

Bob Hunt

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