Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vendor Customer Relationships

Vendor Customer Relationships

I wonder what would happen if we just closed on, “We want to demonstrate that we can be your highest performing supplier, will you give us that opportunity?”

The term “partnering” seems to have become the new en vogue term. Where we, as providers of a service, used to strive toward forming reliable relationships with our customers, we now throw the term “partner” around as though it were a simple objective.

But this just isn’t the case. Partnering is a far more in-depth relationship. And, partnerships, though they may sound good in theory or look good on paper, they are tough. While successful partnerships can be very powerful for both parties, most times they fail. In fact, 70 percent of the time they fail.

Why the high failure rate? Because partnering is much different than being a reliable, customer-focused supplier. Partnering mandates a much higher level of relationship between each party.  These relationships require great alignment in vision and values between partners and requires sharing resources, risks, and rewards. 
And partnering is far more complex than salespeople make it out to be. It usually involves many relationships across organizations from executives sponsoring the relationship and driving governance, down through the individuals working together on a day to day basis. Partnering requires an investment of people, resources, and money by each party. There are usually project plans, milestones, and all sorts of commitments the parties agree to execute together over time.  Partnering is rarely about a transaction, but about attaining shared goals and results over a longer period of time.
give us that opportunity
We can be your highest performing supplier, will you give us that opportunity?
In my mind, as a service provider, partnering with a customer isnt the relationship I want to form. Rather, I want to be a valuable service provider and play a role in the growth of my customers online business.
The problem here is that the term partneringis being used as a close to snatch the sale. These salespeople have no intention of forming a true partnership, in fact they probably dont know the first thing about partnering. And from my experience, most buyers are well aware of this. In fact, they dont even want a partnership,they want quality, reliable service.

The key words here are: quality,” “reliableand service.The truth is, I dont want to be your partner and I dont think you want to be mine. What I do want is to generate an increase for your online business. I want to collaborate with you, find out what you need from me so that I can make your online experience a success.
In my mind, partneringis an overrated, undervalued and overused term. Instead, Id rather demonstrate that I can be your highest performing supplier. That is something I can offer and I can stand behind. Give me that opportunity and you wont be disappointed. 
Steve Steinberger

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