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What Businesses Need to Know About Dealing with Large Corporate Clients

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It is every business owner’s dream to finally land that large, corporate contract. However, it is only once you have taken on this client that you may realise what a precarious situation you have placed yourself in. After all, if you want your company to grow and thrive, you need to make sure that you are catering to this new customer. If all of this sounds rather overwhelming to you, don’t worry. There are a number of tactics that you can use to ensure that your client’s needs are met, every step of the way:

Make Them a Priority

This should go without saying but it does bear repeating, nonetheless. While you should certainly not ignore your other clients, it is also important to make your larger customers a priority. Keep in mind, these bigger companies often demand more in terms of time and resources. Therefore, if you wait too long to allocate them, you could end up derailing the project.

Instead, from the moment that you take on the client, be aware of what they are going to require. Then, make sure that they can access these resources whenever they need to. This is what will keep the ball moving in the right direction.

Allocate the Right Talent

With larger corporate clients, image is everything. Therefore, they will often judge the entire company based on the people that they are dealing with. This is just one of the reasons that you should always allocate your top talent to handle such customers.

Sending in the right people does have other advantages as well. Remember, not everyone can handle the pressures of dealing with domineering businesses. In addition to selecting people that are good at their jobs, you also need to have someone with the charisma and wit to take on such individuals as well.

Change Your Perspective

If you are only used to dealing with smaller clients, it is natural to imagine that you can handle your new customers in the same manner. Well, you would be mistaken. When taking on such clients, you have to shift your focus and start thinking in a manner in which they are accustomed to.

This includes what requirements and needs they might have regarding the project. At the same time, it could also be about realising that your clients are used to being treated in a different manner. For instance, there is a good chance that they have become accustomed to being carted around in the best business jets. Thus, you will need to meet these standards as well.

Make a Positive Impression

The last point to remember is that you will often have to wow your clients getting a learjet for rent for business trips and such. While this can feel overwhelming at times, remember that you are investing in your reputation. If this client is impressed with the way that you do things, they will be more likely to recommend you to their connections.

Of course, there is no need to go overboard with gestures. At the end of the day, you should be making a profit from these individuals. So, make sure that you don’t go over your budget.

These are the top things to keep in mind when you have landed a larger client and want some insight into how to deal with them.

 

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Business travel isn't expected to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon – CBC.ca

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Kacey Siskind recently took her first business trip to the U.S. since the pandemic began. 

The vice-president of business development at Honk Mobile, a parking app, attended an industry conference in Texas. 

“Our team was fully vaccinated and we felt that we could probably make our way and see how it went… we just wanted to take a chance and really be back out in the world,” said Siskind.

But in Dallas, you’d barely know there had ever been a global pandemic. Panel discussions and networking sessions at the conference happened indoors with no masks in sight — just lots of people eager to re-connect.

Siskind said she found the environment unnerving at first, but soon began to appreciate the experience.

“There is really nothing like being in person with somebody,” Siskind said. “There’s nothing like physically seeing them and talking to them.”

Canadian Kacey Siskind, vice-president of business development at Honk Mobile, recently travelled to Texas to attend her first in-person industry conference since the pandemic began. (Submitted by Kacey Siskind)

Only essential business travel has continued throughout the pandemic; for example, trips related to healthcare issues or critical infrastructure. Work trips related to maintaining or building relationships, making sales or attending conferences had been shut down.

In an online survey of 640 industry professionals, a June poll from the Global Business Travel Association, a U.S.-based industry group, found 91 per cent of companies say they’ve cancelled or suspended most or all international business travel — a huge hit for the industry. 

Slow return for business travel in Canada

In Canada, virtual, online gatherings are expected to be the norm at least until the end of the year, event planners said.

“Our friends down in the states are moving a little bit quicker than us,” said Anh Nguyen, an event planner in Calgary. “In Canada, we’re seeing a little bit of a more conservative approach.”

Event manager Anh Nguyen of Calgary thinks that in-person events will continue to have a virtual presence for the forseeable future as many companies seek to reach a wider audience. (Dave Rae/CBC)

Nguyen’s company, Spark Event Management, organized a number of virtual events over the past year. She believes many organizations — here and in the U.S. — won’t be willing to give up all the benefits that come with going online. 

“There’s no such thing as sold out, right? So if you’re a 300-person event you can now reach 5,000-6,000 people if you wanted it to.”

Nguyen adds that with avatars, networking and breakout room software, industry is getting close to being able to replicate much of a real-life event experience online  — though it’ll never be quite the same.

“The technology has grown and there’s a lot of money and investments being put into event technology right now,” Nguyen said.

Ontario-based TK Events is one of several event management companies replicating some aspects of real-life conferences virtually. (TK Events)

Virtual gatherings may be great in some ways, but industry insiders note that they do next-to-nothing for local economies. Business travellers are often big spenders. They’re often on expense accounts, which benefit hotels, restaurants, taxis, airlines and more. 

“Business travel contributes over $40 billion towards our Canadian economy in pre-pandemic numbers,” said Nancy Tudorach, who works with the Global Business Travel Association. “It’s about 2.5 to 3 per cent of our typical pre-pandemic GDP.”

Airlines are hurting

Vik Krishnan, a consultant with McKinsey & Company, said airlines in particular depend on expensive business class tickets.

“The business traveler tends to book late, they tend to travel with higher frequency, and they tend to also buy some of the more expensive fares,” he said. “Business travel for some airlines comprises 50 to 75 per cent of profits.”

A recent report from McKinsey noted that it took six years for airlines to recover from the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks, and that the industry still hadn’t fully recovered from the 2008 global financial crisis when the pandemic hit.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has been larger in scale and deeper than any of those prior crises, Krisnan said. But if corporate travel remains curtailed, he said airlines probably won’t make up the difference by charging regular consumers more.

“This is an industry that has faced a lot of competition, has faced fairly relentless pricing pressure and cost pressure, and therefore, it’s no stranger to having to deal with an environment where you don’t have a lot of leeway and flexibility to raise prices.”

The recent emergence of new discount airlines in Canada, such as Flair and Canada Jetlines, could make it difficult for WestJet or Air Canada to charge more. 

Business travel may stay depressed

Many of the companies that depend heavily on business travellers are expected to continue to struggle. McKinsey’s report on the airline industry forecasts pre-pandemic travel levels won’t be reached until 2024, and even then will only be at 80 per cent.

Others say the pandemic may have changed the approach to corporate travel forever. 

Kacey Siskind suspects all business trips will now be evaluated differently.

“Is it efficient for us to go to a conference? Yes, if we’re going to see hundreds of people, it’s going to make sense for us to be there,” she said. “Is it smart for me to go off to New York for a night to have one meeting? Maybe not so much.”

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Union ratifies deal with Bombardier at Downsview; talks with De Havilland continue – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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TORONTO – Unifor says members of two of its locals have ratified an agreement with Bombardier Aviation at its Downsview plant in north Toronto.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias says in a statement that the three-year collective agreement approved by members of Local 112 and 673 makes “significant progress” on key issues such as pensions, as well as on job protection against outsourcing and the use of contractors.

Workers will see raises of 0.5 per cent in Year 1, 0.75 per cent in Year 2 and one per cent in Year 3.

The workers launched a strike late last month against the business jet manufacturer and De Havilland, which it says had made Dash 8 turboprops at the facility.

Unifor says the ratified deal covers approximately 1,500 Bombardier Aviation workers, and runs from June 23, 2021 to June 23, 2024.

But it says 700 De Havilland workers remain on strike as negotiations between it and the company continue, with a dedicated picket line in operation at the De Havilland area of the facility.

“As the industry recovers from this once-in-a-century pandemic and Bombardier prepares to move production to a new facility at Pearson Airport, these collective agreements will ensure our highly skilled members will maintain wages, pension, benefits and other working conditions that are among the best in the industry,” Dias said in the statement.

The union has said the future of the Dash 8 program is the focus of talks with De Havilland.

De Havilland announced earlier this year that it would no longer produce new Dash 8s at the facility beyond currently confirmed orders. De Havilland indicated two years ago that work will end at Downsview once lease agreements for the land expire.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2021.

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Ontario reports 258 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday – CBC.ca

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Ontario reported another 258 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The latest case count includes 53 cases in Toronto, 33 in York Region, 28 in the Region of Waterloo, 27 in Hamilton and 26 in Peel Region.

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health’s daily provincial update:

Seven-day average of daily cases: 183

Tests completed: 19,112

Provincewide test positivity rate: 1.2 per cent

Active cases: 1,606

Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 112; 83 needed a ventilator to breathe

Deaths: Six, pushing the official toll to 9,345

Vaccinations: 81,590 doses administered for a total of 19,459,198 as of 8 p.m. on Friday.

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