Professional lesson from Anders!

I know I’m not supposed to be thinking about my professional life while I’m on this 6-month sabbatical but I couldn’t help it. I got a great lesson from Anders Brantberg while we were staying with him in Southern Sweden and I wanted to record it.

In Tina’s previous post she mentioned that we had the pleasure of staying with Anders & Mia Brantberg in their hometown of Fasterbo, Sweden. We had a great time and are very thankful for their generous hospitality.

One of the afternoons we were there Anders took us into Malmo for a tour of his company Norfoods. Anders is the CEO of Norfoods which is a leading Nordic food importer & distributor with revenues of over $100 million.

Over the time Anders has owned the company they have achieved consistent growth by building strong lasting relationships with their clients.

They’ve achieved these relationships by providing expertise to their clients and not by becoming the “lowest-cost” provider (although their prices are competitive). As Anders explained competition over the past decade has forced many of his clients to cut their research and development departments. These R & D departments were responsible for developing new flavors and recipies for their food products.

Norfoods saw this as an opportunity. They hired many of these R & D experts and made them account managers. By doing so, Norfoods has positioned themselves as a food provider that is not only able to provide products at a competitive price, but is also to provide value in the form of R & D expertise.

In accomplishing this Anders believes he has been able to strengthen his relationships with his clients which will help him achieve growth in the future.

The lesson? For me, the lesson here for businesses is to look at that marketplace in which they serve and try to find problems that are common amongst the participants. In Anders case he was able to identify that his clients were having to cut back on R & D.

Then, look for ways to help the marketplace solve this problem in addition to providing the basic service or product that you already provide. This will create a “value-added proposition” that strengthen your relationship with your clients. Thanks Anders!

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