Vendors as Business Partners

by | Jan 17, 2011 | Building Relationships, Marketing & Selling

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This month’s theme is “Creating Business Partnerships.” Throughout January, my posts will be exploring the many ways that we create partnerships within our businesses and how to leverage them to grow our business.

“I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.”
~ Alan Greenspan

Whether you like it or not, the vendors you do business with … whether it is the office supply store or the print on demand service you produce your products through … are, to some degree, partners in your business.

The thing is, some vendors see it this way and provide services that help nurture that relationship, while others don’t.

For example, probably because their vested interest in your business is negligible, your office supply shop is not really going to act like a business partner. Of course, there may be some exceptions to this rule … if the shop is small and you’ve developed a relationship with the proprietor, or if you do so much business with the shop they’ve taken notice.

Other vendors, such as some print on demand publishers and email marketing companies have accepted their partnership role in your business and provide you with ongoing training on how to use their services to grow your business.

This is why, when you seek out a vendor to help you accomplish something in your business, you might consider asking yourself these questions:

  • How integral to your business will the service provided be?
    The more important and key the service is, the more important it is to evaluate the vendors you are looking at. Will this vendor be reliable? Will this vendor contribute to your success in some way?
  • What is more important from this vendor: quality or quantity?
    Sometimes the quality of the service a vendor supplies is more important that how much or how fast they supply it. Different vendors who provide the same basic product or service, will do so at different degrees of quality. You need to understand what you value more so you can choose a vendor that will provide you with what your business needs.
  • How well do you understand the service you are contracting with the vendor to receive?
    If you need extra training on how to use the service, then you’ll want to hire a vendor that provides that service. Sometimes you’ll choose a more complex service with excellent training over a simply to use service that is less expensive because the return on investment is more in line with your business goals.


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