vendor relationships

Do You Love Your Vendor?

By Catherine Lang-Cline

The partnerships are the best business relations and where we really thrive. We really work hard to understand and anticipate what our client needs. We really want our clients to succeed and look great! In return, we love clients that really understand why we are different, trust us, really appreciate the niche that we fill. Those clients want us to succeed, too.

Like all relationships, this sometimes requires work. We all have budgets, we all have stress, and we all just need to get the work done. That can sometimes cloud the judgment on both parts, but we press on, we find the right solutions. We find the relationship that works and hope that it turns into a partnership. A partnership that we can both feel the love. Let’s face it if you love your vendor you take the call. If you don’t...well, that one may just go to voicemail. We want you to take the call.

So what makes a great partnership?

  1. Communication - Clients need to be clear about what they want, vendors need to listen and make it clear they understand the ask. Both sides need to be responsive, it's the only way everything moves forward. Everyone needs to be clear on expectations.

  2. Respect - Clients and vendors need respect for each other. Neither side wants a relationship where one side is always taking. The vendor just wants to make the sale. The client just wants a lower margin. Always be thinking about what you can do to make this easier. Then everyone gets what they want!

  3. True compatibility - Do you really, really like working with each other? Are pricing and resources all a fit? Or are you just hanging on to a bad partnership because you don’t know what else is out there? Nothing is more terrible than if the partnership is simply painful. Get realigned or get out. That goes for everyone.

We just need to find our match. Wait a minute, am I still talking about vendors and clients? Yes, but it really isn’t any different in business vs life and love. We want someone easy to get along with, anticipate our needs, not be a bully or a taker. Sometimes we settle because we feel like we will never find the right person...I mean, vendor. Sometimes we make due with what is in front of us, afraid of the unknown, afraid to take a chance. Maybe we all need to show a little more give and take, not to mention a little more love.

We try daily to lay the love on our clients. Extra servings for everyone! Hopefully, everyone feels this way about their clients. If you don’t feel this way, you know where to find us, standing over here, holding this rose.


Do You Trust Your Vendor?

By Catherine Lang-Cline

In staffing, our client calls us because they need a person, the right person. We could send someone that just fits the skillset, but instead, we do more. We dig deeper and make sure that they are a fit on all levels. This means that we are not sending a ton of resumes; it means that we are asking our client to trust us. We want them to trust that we have vetted a huge group of people and have only sent them the best to choose from. We create a relationship with our client.

One of the best things a vendor can do for you is to work as your partner. It needs to feel like they are your right-hand person in solving their problem. It goes far beyond selling.

Do you feel that you have a trusting relationship with your vendor? It really can be quite easy. Check this list and see if your vendor does this:

  • Builds trust

  • Understands your business, inside and out

  • Knows the players involved on your team

  • Understands your financial concerns

  • Communicates, communicates, and communicates

  • Admits mistakes

  • Problem solves

  • Listens

  • Understands your culture

  • Is pleasant to work with

Bonus if they remember your birthday! Basically, your vendor needs to do more then manage your inventory; they need to manage the relationship. They need to be the go-to person that can solve your problems, not add to them.

And how about you as the customer? The best thing that you can do is #5. We want to hear the good, bad, and the ugly. Your feedback is important to us. Also, if we are doing a good job, tell others. We would love to know that we are doing such a great job you can recommend us to others. If you can’t recommend us, we want to know that, too.

Here’s hoping for a nice, long-term commitment of service!