Building better partnerships: 4 tips for clients and providers

October 18, 2022
The principles of client management are the same for all financial providers: you have to communicate effectively and establish trust. But working in surety is not simply about “managing” clients. It is about creating a connection with them. If both parties come to the table ready to contribute, building a strong relationship can be simple – and beneficial.

People might first ask, why is the relationship between the client and the surety provider so important? From our perspective as providers, constant communication helps us demonstrate our sincere interest in our clients and their projects. Ensuring we have a truly genuine connection with our clients is a key part of our ethos at Allianz Trade.

For the client, building a long-lasting connection offers stability. If the client has already shown us a strong track record, then we aren’t going to get overly upset about small mistakes or challenges. In a long-term collaboration, even one successful project can “cancel out” a less successful one.

And this is actually true for both sides. When we know one another well, it is much easier to see beyond the occasional misstep. With good foundations, a partnership can endure the inevitable rough patch.

I’ve worked in surety now for nearly three decades, and I am currently Commercial Head of Global Surety Distribution for Allianz Trade in the Global Surety team. I have built connections with many clients and can offer tips for both clients and providers looking to build strong, enduring partnerships:

1. Communicate effectively, communicate often. Sometimes people send one email and are done. Don’t be afraid to follow up, to send another email! The content of the message is important, yes, but so is the fact that you are being open and accessible.

2. Be there for better or worse – like a marriage. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s necessary if you want to successfully weather any storm. The climate we’re in today could be totally different tomorrow. Both parties need to understand and recognize that, and know that if it is, we can pick up the phone and discuss it.

3. Be transparent. Relationships are fueled by accurate, up-to-date information. This includes financial reports, but also changes in leadership or management. And the reason for such changes is important too, as they often come with a story. In the same vein, sharing clear-cut expectations keeps everyone on the same page. You should ask us, “What information can I provide?”

4. Ask questions. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. We can explain our strategy and thought processes, and ensure you’re connected with the right people. Asking questions can be seen as a weakness in corporate culture, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Questions show engagement and a willingness to adapt. I can tell you, I have never heard a stupid question – only stupid answers!

A strong relationship is key to building trust, and trust is vital in surety. At Allianz Trade, connecting with clients is a priority. This is why we provide regular market reports, updating our clients on local, international and economic issues. These reports are just one of the lines of communication we maintain in order to remain a predictable and reliable surety provider.

Robbert Langhorst

Head of Surety Distribution,
Allianz Trade