Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 3:40 pm | Overcast 66º

 
 
 
 

Business

Advice

John Daly: Treat Your Vendors Like Partners

A friend mentioned to me his irritation at the manner in which one of his clients was treating him. He explained that he called and spoke personally with the client to arrange a meeting in Boston, which the customer confirmed. My friend flew to Boston from Los Angeles, only to be told by the client’s secretary upon arrival for the meeting that her boss didn’t have time to meet with him!

How difficult would it have been for the client to have his secretary call my friend and let him know there would be no meeting before he started the trip? It was time and money wasted.

We all know that the customer is king, and we have to accept the behavior that comes. But customers should keep a few things in mind. When it’s time to ask the vendor to stretch on a job; work for less money at times; or ask a favor, how willing will the vendor be to go out on a limb for someone who has mistreated him or her.

It’s at those times that the client’s misbehavior will come back to bite. Remember these basic facts:

If you treat your vendors as you would behave with your clients, you will:

» Motivate them to provide you with the best possible product

» Create a wiliness in them to recommend your company to others

» Have a better opportunity of securing a positive identity for your company

Remember, people talk.

My same friend told me that he viewed all of his vendors as partners, including the people who provide services in his home. He makes his pool man a café latte on Saturdays when he comes to clean the pool. Then, when he asks for some extra work to be done, there’s never a problem.

The pool man has even thrown in extra work that could have cost my friend $300-$400, just because he considers his customer a friend.

He also related that he went through a dry spell financially, and he had to ask his housekeeper to take less money for more than a year. She did without complaint. When he got back on his feet, he gave his housekeeper almost double what she had been making. Talk about building loyalty.

Another valued friend of mine sends cards and gifts to her vendors on birthdays and during Christmas. She feels that rather than her vendor partners sending her a gift, she would rather make sure that they know how much she appreciates and values their relationships.

So, for our young people just starting out in business, even if you have bosses who treat vendors with disrespect, don’t let them be your example. Treat them with the respect and regard you would a valued partner. It will pay off in the long run, and most especially when you really need it.

Don’t just take my word for it; watch what John McDonald, president of The Web Shop, has to say.

(Online Marketing Experts video)

— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for good manners and job search success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or to buy the book.  Follow John on Facebook and Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have an etiquette question? ASK John at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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