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How To Maintain Good Relationships With Vendors

Aug 17, 2007
Maintaining good relationships with your vendors is crucial to your business. Some ways to maintain good vendor relationships are described below.

Dedicated Manager
A dedicated team leader or product manager will help maintain good vendor relationships by keeping track of the progress of each team or vendor. The team leader helps keep all the channels of communication open and this avoids miscommunication of any kind.

Progress Report
Insist on getting detailed progress reports from vendors periodically. This helps you solve glitches and problems of any kind and gives you an insight into how the business is growing.

Plan in Advance
When dealing with vendors, you cannot afford delays and extensive alterations. Especially if you are dealing with software vendors. You must keep in mind that a small delay or mistake can substantially affect their profit margin. This may strain the relationship between the vendor and you.

If you do a lot of business with a particular vendor, that vendor may reward you for your loyalty by offering discounts and incentives to you. They may even go out of their way to help you by speeding up the shipment process if you need to quickly ship some orders, for example, or receive a back order.

Explain Your Business Goals
A vendor who knows exactly what you wish to achieve through your business will be able to help you by making decisions in your favor.

Avoid the Blame Game
If the vendor has made a poor decision that resulted in a business loss, or loss of clients, you should not jump to conclusions. The key to maintaining good vendor relationships is trust. You need to avoid confrontation, ego problems, and the blame game when dealing with vendors.

If you think your business will profit by training vendors, then you should not hesitate simply because it requires additional funds. Proper training will help the vendors market your products better, leading to business growth.

Put It Down In Writing
Put down everything in writing from responsibilities, expected sales, volume, payment, and mode of payment. Anything you think may cause a misunderstanding and strain vendor relationships later must be put down in writing beforehand.

Vendors represent your business to customers in various regions. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a good relationship with them. More than that, a good vendor relationship will see you through in a bad situation. The goodwill the vendor has for you will translate to business growth, as the vendor will work hard to attain your business goals.

Additional Help
If you need to know more about how to maintain good vendor relationships, you can approach a small business consultant who will answer all your questions and help you attain a good relationship with your vendors.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com.
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