Do incentives really add value to working relationships?

Posted: Tuesday, 1 October 2019 @ 10:27

Preferential treatment for the people and organisations who bring us business is not a new idea. Nor is it a bad one. It can be a way of saying thank you, and it can be a way of encouraging more business. There is an awful lot of it that goes on though, and with that in mind, do incentives really add value? 

Who deserves what?

To be clear, this is not a criticism of incentives or any organisations that offer them. It’s a discussion, specifically relating to those in the world of finance. Or perhaps more specifically our niche corner in asset finance. 

In our organisation, we are fortunate enough to work with several superb brokers. Brokers are a central part of our business, and we value them, not simply for the business they bring us, but also for the support, communication and due diligence that their skills provide as well.  

Naturally, some brokers bring us more business than others. Some bring larger value deals to us than others. It would not be uncustomary to have incentives in place to reward and encourage either of those groups, but what exactly would that achieve?

Do incentives achieve what you want them to?

There are some industries where rewards systems work extremely well. We believe the supermarkets have quite a thing going in that department, but does it work for finance? Perhaps if you have tried them in your company you might let us know how it went. Did you feel it achieved what you wanted it to? Or did they simply create good publicity (which of course has a very important value in itself). 

It often seems that the problem with incentives, is that they can something of an uncontrollable firework. Just when you thought it was going to head off into the night sky, it’s liable to whizz off to the right in a blue flash.

Value and relationships

Call us old fashioned, but at Rivers Leasing we take a slightly different approach to encouraging long term business relationships. We don’t do incentives, for the simple reason that every broker, every client and every deal is of equal value to us. They are all intrinsic to the company, and we treat each one with the same level of importance.

Don’t get us wrong, we like sharing our love of Ferrero Rocher at Christmas. However, to us, the greatest thing we can do is reward everyone who works with us by doing the best we can in everything that we do. 

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