There are many reasons why we should create great relationship with our suppliers. The most important is that it makes the day to day working relationship more enjoyable for all. It may also get you a great deal, help with collaboration and strengthen goodwill.
But like personal relationships, building relationships with your suppliers can take time, here are some tips for how we can create and maintain excellent supplier relationships.
Communication is the most basic way we build and maintain relationships. Schedule some time with your supplier to provide an opportunity for both parties to provide feedback with regards to better pricing deals, payment terms, discuss what is helpful and what is not.
Go ahead, schedule a meeting over lunch, a coffee or a beer – you might be able to develop some innovative opportunities to do business.
PAYING ON TIME!
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be frustrated if they’re not paid on time? In maintaining relationships with your suppliers it is important that you at all times at least try to adhere to payment terms. Not only does it make a good impression but also builds trust. When you cant – open the lines of communication between you and the supplier, you might be able to make an arrangement for extended time, interest free and no penalties – anything! As long as you keep communicating with the supplier and have a proven record of good custom anything is possible.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR SUPPLIER’S PROCESS TO MEET YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS
Like every other business, there are processes in place in order for your supplier to attend to your business needs. Make sure to know what those processes are and when they take place. By respecting their processes will ensure that the business relationship remains at the forefront, your supplier can attend to your deadline/business needs.
BUILDING GOOD RAPPORT
Maintaining great relationships with suppliers is always a two-way street. I know we all want to make sure that the supplier is offering a great price and superb service; you also need to be a good customer. Avoid making any unreasonable claims relating to discounts or service. Treat your suppliers with respect and build rapport so they will be happy to help you long term.
Maintaining a good relationship will have a long-lasting impact to your business.
Sometimes it may be tempting to go with other supplies where prices are tempting, but often it pays to stick with your current supplier. Over time, you can develop strong relationships and your suppliers will begin to understand your business wants and needs. If any time a different supplier is offering a better deal, you may be able to negotiate rates based on your loyalty.
REFER THEIR BUSINESS
If you are happy how things are travelling with your suppliers or a particular supplier, you can show you’re your appreciation by referring their business. At the end of the day, everyone is trying to grow their business and if you can help your supplier gain new customers, they’re sure to be grateful. Building goodwill for your suppliers will definitely have a positive impact as well with your business, as your suppliers may return the favor and refer your business to others as well.
Forte in Numbers helping small business owners understand their small business compliance obligations and understand their numbers. We take the stress and headache out of bookkeeping.
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