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8 tips for strategically partnering with the right vendors

Every business works with vendors in order to be successful, but choosing the right one can be a daunting process.

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There are so many competitors out in the marketplace, and it can be tough to find the vendor that can provide the expected value to your business within your budget. On top of that, it can be even tougher to find a vendor that is genuinely invested in your success.
It's time to change your mindset of a vendor to now be a strategic partner. Choose the right company that will treat your business relationship as a strategic partnership. That means your worries, your successes, and your failures are mutually shared between both parties.

Check out these 8 tips to help determine if a vendor may be the right strategic partner for your business:

  1. They offer value-added services like access to other 3rd parties they use, resources and invitations to partner summits, or like-minded individuals when it’s applicable.
  2. They don't nickel and dime you for services that weren't included in the original scope. If it's a large task, then yes, you can expect to be charged for being outside the original scope. But in the case of minor additional services here or there, you should be alarmed if you are charged more. A strategic partnership means getting the task finished, no matter if the cost is slightly over the original scope.
  3. They use words like 'we,' 'us,' and 'our' when describing your business, showcasing that your business is their business. At the same time, they don't use words like 'you all,' 'your problem,' or 'not my issue.' That would illustrate that they truly only care about their business and not yours.
  4. Conversations just feel good. You know what it's like when you're talking to someone and it feels natural vs. forced. If communication is naturally there, then your gut is probably right telling you that future communications will be the same. It’s best to make sure you’re both comfortable now before something potentially serious happens in the future, because then you really want to communicate.
  5. Access to leadership is readily available if needed. It’s great to have good relations with the day-to-day folks you work with, but if something were to come up it is also nice to be able to get information from the top when needed.
  6. Account representatives reply within a few hours, not days. The response from the representative doesn't have to necessarily answer your question right away, but it should acknowledge receipt. That shows that your representative respects you, your time, and your business.
  7. They don't charge you for recurring status meetings and never question an on-site visit. Whether you request a visit at your place or theirs, your partner should be willing and ready to meet in person. Some vendors will say there is a large expense for travel, so if they are traveling cross-country, it's polite to offer to pay some of their expenses.
  8. Your main contact(s) provide his or her cell phone number and don't mind texting or communicating outside of normal work hours. Let's face it, work doesn't just happen from 8-5 anymore. A strategic partner will give you reasonable access while outside of the office.

 

There will be times when it's perfectly okay for someone to just be a vendor. But when the time comes and you need a vendor to be a strategic partner for the betterment of your company, do your research and keep these tips in mind.
And, if you need a strategic partnership in finance and business growth, we are your team. We've got everything you need to effortlessly manage your cash flow, payments, payroll, and more. Contact us today or stop by any Jefferson Bank location.

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its affiliates and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.