The Business Leader Series: ArcBlue Search’s Russell Harrison

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    Building and maintaining relationships with clients is key to any business. Russell Harrison of ArcBlue Search shares how he does this.

    Russell Harrison is the director of boutique executive search business, ArcBlue Search, founded in 2015. Its parent company is ArcBlue, a specialist consulting and training group that offers consulting as well as search and training services within the procurement and supply chain industry.

    In this interview, Harrison shares his views on building relationships and the importance of direct contact with clients.

    What are some of the challenges your company faces and how do you solve them?

    Harrison: Our industry is quite cut-throat and competitive, so staying ahead of the competition is always the biggest challenge. We overcome this by constantly trying to innovate and continually offering our clients value. Of course, when you’re doing things differently than your competition, the challenge is to convince clients that the innovation is beneficial for them, and that thinking outside the box is going to bring better results.

    What is your approach to networking?

    Harrison: I would say it’s proactive. It’s literally my job, and clients expect me to know everyone there is to know in my field. Apart from being a very active social networker online, I’ve also set up our own networking events that bring together procurement and supply chain professionals. We’ve organised these events across the Asia-Pacific region.

    How would you prefer someone to reach out to you?

    Harrison: I have people reaching out to me through numerous channels, but most often LinkedIn. I honestly don’t have a preference, but I think it is important when reaching out to me that there should be an interest in developing a long-term, genuine relationship. Quite often I have known people for years before we do something together, and that always seems to bring more success than trying to make something happen during our first conversation.

    What is your most effective tip for increasing the sales of your product?

    Harrison: Our business has grown over the years by referrals and word of mouth. It’s important in a people-centric business such as search to focus your efforts on helping customers achieve the best outcomes.

    What is your most effective tip for improving your own productivity?

    Harrison: I like to choose times during the day that cater to my different abilities. If I need to make sales calls then I know when I’ll be the most ‘switched on’ to make them. If I need to write an article then I’ll choose a more creative time of the day. I also think that a power nap here and there does great things for your productivity.

    What do you think about a business card management service such as Sansan?

    Harrison: Transparency of information in a business is obviously beneficial, and it is great to be able to use the cards that we collect. Anything that can foster this is of great help, and Sansan does just that.