How To Approach New Vendor Relationships
Choosing a new vendor or third-party service, such as a check-writing service (hint, hint), can sometimes be a complicated matter. Vendors and third-party services can be excellent partners, or they can serve to make your life hell. And no one wants the latter. That’s because hell is scalding (or so I’ve heard).
So then what’s the best way to find partners from the big scary outside world without ruining the decor?
Here Are Some Best Practices:
Your new partner should “get you:” Make no mistake about it, just because they are a third-party service doesn’t mean they should be aloof to your company’s philosophy. They should be up to speed on what your corporate goals are. They should have an understanding as to the temperature of the current climate.
How does one do this? Well, through meetings, of course! Meetings aren’t the most thrilling part of anyone’s day, but it sure does help when it comes to getting to know new folks. Going to dinner is another way to make the situation of a “meeting” much more bearable and may allow for a more relaxed environment.
Don’t overcommit: Hey, maybe you don’t need to sign that 10-year deal with a Kerri coffee cup provider. Trial runs can be your best friend when you are just getting to know a new business. It shouldn’t seem like an insult to them either, because hey, they should want to get to know you as well.
Beware of big promises: If someone is making grandiose promises as a way to attract your business, then “buyer beware” as the saying goes. If they can’t even be honest with you to start, why would they be when they have the account? The moon is unavailable my friends, so move on from anyone who is promising it to you.
Check references: Don’t be afraid to ask them for recommendations. If they have them listed on their site as clients, reach out and kindly ask how the relationship has been. The new vendor will respect you for it. If they don’t, well, we are back to the old “buyer beware” saying.
New vendors are like new love interests. It’s best to start with coffee and shoot from the hip. Confusion down the road will only serve to create stress which could have avoided.
I hope you found this interesting and educational,