There is a lot of truth in the cliché “You’ll attract more bees with honey than vinegar.” This is especially true when working with professional consultants.
Quite often, business owners take an adversarial approach to working with their vendors. Since they are paying the bills, they believe they have the right to be demanding, difficult and even hostile. What they don’t realize is that vendor relationships can make or break a company, and maintaining a good working partnership with all of your vendors is critical to your business success.
The more respect and appreciation you give your vendor, the more they will want to do a great job for you. Keep in mind that you might need them to do you a favor, or pull you out of a big mess, somewhere down the road. If you’ve developed a good working relationship based on mutual trust and appreciation, they will be far more willing to go the extra mile and help you out when you need it most.
Here are three ways to make sure you become a “favorite” client who receives special favors and extra attention:
- Pay all bills on time or early.
- Express your gratitude for the work they’ve done. Everyone likes to know that their efforts are appreciated.
- If you have a complaint, don’t jump to the conclusion that your vendor was trying to harm you on purpose. Let them know about your complaint and give them a chance to make it right before you get angry or take action. It may have been a simple mistake, or even an oversight, on your part.
Overall, clear communication is your best tool to ensure a great working relationship with every vendor. In most cases, I’m sure you want to find someone you can partner in the long-term who will take an active role in making your business profitable and successful. That requires mutual respect on both sides.