Coe Juracek: You Won’t Win New Business if Your Culture Doesn’t Have These 3 Things
Whether retaining staff or growing the business, a company’s corporate culture has become increasingly important in the current business environment. Coe Juracek, managing director of the investor coverage group of Crow Holdings Capital, says if your culture doesn’t have these three things, it won’t win you new business.
1. Authenticity Is Key
No matter the industry, if business development professionals were honest about it, they’d probably admit that on paper, many of their competitors are probably just as capable as they are. Especially in certain sectors like banking, finance, and investments, when it boils down to terms and conditions, investment returns, and the makeup of portfolios, it’s a crowded field. And even if your company is head and shoulders above the herd, plenty of business development professionals agree that corporate culture has become the X factor for many enterprises.
“The interesting thing in our space is that there are a lot of companies that are really good. They can sit in a room and explain why their results are fantastic — and they objectively are good,” says Juracek, adding that in the current climate, it’s often a knife fight for capital every time. Because real estate investment is a zero-sum game.
“There’s no prisoner’s dilemma like, ‘Maybe we can both win,’” Juracek adds. “You win or you lose on this dollar” — so you need to be able to tell your story convincingly and honestly, he says.
Now, that’s not to say that culture will trump business prowess or a convincing business proposition. You obviously need to have that to win business — and Coe Juracek says his firm has that in spades. But people won’t want to work with you if they don’t get a genuine feel for your company’s culture, he notes. And you certainly won’t retain them over the long haul.
Yet simply trying to talk up your corporate culture rarely comes across as genuine, says Juracek, who tries to let his firm’s corporate culture speak for itself.
“I don’t end up talking about it a lot in pitches. It just ends up being a factor,” he shares.
At this point you may be asking yourself what exactly is corporate culture, and why is it so important?
A business’s corporate culture is its values, beliefs, and behaviors realized by how its employees and management interact, perform, and handle business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people working there.
A company’s corporate culture can be realized in a multitude of ways — from something as simple as how its people dress to go to work and meetings, the hours they keep, office setup, and employee benefits. Naturally, corporate culture will differ from company to company and sector to sector. There will be different mores and expectations in corporate banking compared to the tech world, manufacturing, or medicine. But it’s really about the treatment of employees and clients, says Juracek. And the benefits of a robust corporate culture, no matter the sector, are always the same.
It’s about providing a positive workplace environment and creating an engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated workforce. Organizations with excellent culture attract high-value employees and reduce turnover. They drive and improve performance quality and productivity, resulting in favorable business results that underpin a company’s longevity, strengthen return on investment, and provide an implacable competitive advantage.
2. Culture Needs To Be the Same in the Salesroom as It Is on the Shop Floor
When investors visit his office for the first time, Coe Juracek says they see consistency across the firm. What they don’t see is a different story from the one Juracek has been telling them.
“Eventually, they will say, ‘You know what was really funny about my visit to your office? Everybody smiles at each other. Everybody legitimately looks happy to be there,’” Juracek recounts. “And when I watch people talking to each other in a meeting with me, or I walk around the halls and see people interacting with each other, I can tell that people are working hard — but that they’re having fun. You can see people giving each other a hard time. You can see people laughing. This is not a slog.”
This consistency is essential. If a company wins business because its salespeople are professional and affable, yet the people doing the work or building the products are unhappy and treated badly, then it comes across as artificial, says Juracek. Your customers will feel like they’ve been conned, and they won’t stick around.
3. Coe Juracek: Corporate Culture Needs To Be Inviting and Inclusive, Not Exclusive
In the end, says Juracek, the specifics of your company’s culture don’t matter, as long as it’s inviting, inclusive, and reflects a place where customers and staff feel they’d love to be.
In a business pitch situation, this means conveying the feeling that your company is a great place to be. If you can do that, then your prospective customers will want to jump on board and work with you and use your products.
“It’s how we interact with people. It’s the way we conduct business,” Juracek explains.
Coe Juracek is keenly aware that everybody talks about culture.
“They say, ‘Come on, Coe. Really? It’s really that different?’ So it’s an interesting challenge that requires me to very carefully select my team to be people who, by their nature, convey our culture,” he says. “And then over time, investors get a sense that it’s not just me that acts this way, it’s actually, truly that the whole company is filled with people who have these values and attitudes and interactions. And I want to be a part of that because I think it’s a good place to do business.”
The result is a place that’s genuine, from top to bottom, and one that your clients feel they want to be part of. If your corporate culture exudes these qualities, it will help you win business, says Coe Juracek.