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Many businesses across all industries rely on vendors for support. Third-party vendors often provide the materials, services and software needed to run a successful company.
Because of the critical role your vendors can play in keeping your business running, it’s important to maintain positive relationships with each of them. We asked five Forbes Chicago Business Council members how to do that. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Align Your Expectations And Goals
Preparation is key when choosing vendor partners. The decision should make good business sense and be a comfortable process. Create a checklist that your team goes through to systematically inspect a potential vendor. The goal is to make sure your expectations and goals are aligned. - George Csahiouni, TransMerit Merchant Services
2. Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Just as you do with your customers, think about what they, as a business, want out of the relationship. When negotiating a solution, illustrate why a certain item is important to you and your business. Ask them to do the same. Figuring out how to communicate your needs while also being receptive to theirs will help you become a more effective yet affable vendor yourself. – Ben Margolit, Rentgrata
3. Assume The Best Intentions
Keeping up good relations with vendors or anyone else in the business can be rather simple: Be honest, transparent and respectful, and always assume the other person or party has everyone’s best interest in mind. Operating with those four integral characteristics as guiding principles has produced incredibly loyal and trusting partnerships for me over the years. - Noah Mishkin, CraftJack Inc.
4. Keep Financial Negotiations Separate
Depending on the nature and size of the vendor relationship, it can be wise to separate financial negotiations from the people who will have day-to-day business dealings with the vendor. Some companies go as far as using external negotiators or consultants to strike the best financial deal possible. This allows businesses to “keep their hands clean” from what can be difficult conversations. - Jeffrey Wissink, Navint Partners
5. Make Vendors Feel Like Part Of The Team
Vendor relationships are like any other personal or professional relationship: Communication is key. Let your vendors feel like they’re part of the process. Share information with them about your plans and goals. They will likely feel engaged and sometimes may give you insight into how to more effectively sell your product or service. - Jaisen Freeman, Phusion Projects LLC
December 17, 2018 at 07:35AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs