I read an article today from Moheb Moses from Aussie firm Channel Dynamics – you can read it indepth here.
The article highlights something that I’ve long believed, that EVERYONE is your customer, not just those that pay you money to do their work, but those that supply you with goods and services as well we your own internal staff… they are ALL customers. Vendors in particular though are often overlooked as those who only want to pimp their own products with the exclusion of all others. Fair enough I say – that’s their job. However a real relationship with a vendor is where they understand that not ALL of their products will serve the needs of ALL your clients. A real relationship will know when to stop trying to push the latest special onto your as if your life depended on it. Relationships… that is what it’s all about – above and beyond product I say.
The article also says “vendors can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you ignore them, they will ignore you.” This is so true. I’ve heard many a time from resellers about how vendor X does not call them… but of course – they’ve never opted to call the vendor themselves. They are only interested in the vendor when they want to get something from them. Not what relationships are about.
One of the keys to my success over the years has been building relationships with vendors. It’s worth the investment for those vendors who are interested and see it as a two way relationship. Make a New Years Resolution to do it yourself and see how well it works for your business.