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Developing Strong Vendor Relationships

14 June, 2021

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) aiming to elevate their operations, building robust partnerships with vendors is crucial. Without the support of reliable vendor partners, businesses may fail to reach their full potential. Vendor partnerships play a vital role in strategic growth and long-term success, necessitating active involvement on our part.

Why are strong vendor relationships necessary?

Establishing strong vendor partnerships is essential for sustained business growth. It ensures that your clients receive superior service and creates PR opportunities that enhance your business’s reputation and visibility.

Without strong relationships, your business may stagnate, lacking the resources and momentum to progress to the next level. Securing and nurturing excellent vendor relationships is critical for sustained growth. Vendor management, often an underappreciated function, carries significant responsibility. Fortunately, this is an area that can be readily addressed. So, how can you cultivate a secure relationship where you become the vendor’s preferred partner? Let’s explore!

Make vendors central to your growth strategy

Placing your vendor relationships at the core of your growth strategy is a step in the right direction. To succeed and expand, you need your vendors to view you as a partner, not just a customer. Building a strong rapport with your vendor account manager is a key approach. Undoubtedly, this is a crucial step that must not be neglected.

SMBs often shy away from emails or phone calls from account managers, perceiving them as bothersome and sales-driven. However, adopting a different approach can yield favorable outcomes. Instead of waiting for a sales call, proactively reach out to your vendor and inquire about how you can become their preferred partner. This approach demonstrates your willingness to establish a mutually beneficial relationship that benefits both parties.

Adopt a proactive mindset

Taking a proactive approach can be a pleasant surprise for vendors who are accustomed to dealing with SMBs seeking discounts or favors. They are not often approached with requests for assistance.

It’s beneficial to understand how vendor account managers are evaluated in terms of performance. Contrary to popular belief, sales volume is not the sole criterion. Account managers are also assessed based on the visibility of their sales pipeline and the number of new SMB partnerships they secure.

Additionally, maintaining open lines of communication with vendor account managers allows them to identify potential sales opportunities accurately and report sales pipelines to their management.

Facilitate direct introductions

Remember, this is a two-way relationship – help your vendors by making direct introductions. Share information about your work with vendor partners with your peers. Discuss what you appreciate about working with the vendor and how your business has flourished as a result of the strong relationship.

While this may seem unconventional, as recommendations are typically given the other way around, engaging in such practices can swiftly establish you as a preferred client of your vendor partner.

Does this approach yield results?

Adopting this helpful attitude will foster flourishing partnerships. Trust is built, leading to prompt resolutions of technical and supply issues, which benefits your clients.

Building a strong relationship with your vendors has no downside. In turn, your relationship will transform into a genuine partnership based on mutual commitment, resulting in success for both parties.

Final thoughts

To propel your business to new heights, approaching your vendor relationships with a fresh perspective can facilitate growth. Without such relationships, your growth may encounter obstacles that are difficult to overcome. If you have questions or require assistance in vendor management, please reach out to us. We are here to help and discuss how we can support you in this area.

14 June, 2021