It’s extremely important to build strong and productive relationships with your vendors; they can frequently be a source for referral work for new customers/clients and can play a valuable part in increasing awareness of your company branding. Some of these relationships can become so strong and such an important part of your business that you will likely think of them as partners rather than as vendors!
The vendors/partners who work directly with you on your products and services are really the ones with the most to gain when you find success. By taking the time to get to know them, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities you didn’t realize were there.
Although they might sell their products and services to your competitors, making the sincere effort to strengthen your relationship with them will undoubtedly lead to referral work when other businesses ask them who they would recommend.
Also look for great ways to offer your vendors/partners rewards for helping grow your business – everyone wins with that approach to constructive relationships. One of ways you can do this is by offering performance based incentives that encourage them to want to ensure you succeed.
Here’s the step-by-step process to putting together a partnership with a vendor:
- Approach all the vendors you work with and offer an incentive based on performance.
- Put a generous incentive plan together from their perspective, even take suggestions.
- Develop a clear, concise and easy to track incentive plan – this will increase competition between vendors and therefore could produce higher performance levels.
- Encourage subsequent sales in a long-term relationship instead of focusing only on the initial sale. By doing this you can give away more of the profit from the initial sale to your vendors and make higher profits off the back end products.
Consider creating an incentive plan that’s irresistible to your vendors by offering generous, exclusive compensation.
Think of all the vendors you work with and the creative ways you can put together an incentive plan that entices them to be part of your business. Use their talents, capabilities and connections and you’ll both be winners!