Vendors vs. Partners

Vendors vs. Partners

What is the difference? When should we prioritize one over the other?

Building a good team of people in your organization, your business or personal life and finding the right expertise to grow is a vital part to your success.  As entrepreneurs our teams are just as important as our clients.  People and organizations that can help build your business, campaign, or personal brand come in many forms – let’s talk about the two of them – Vendors and Partners.

So, how do you determine if you need a vendor or a partner? Are you a vendor or are you a partner? And, how do you transition your business or brand from being a vendor to a partnership?

As a business owner, your main goal in your sales process is to turn a one time project into a long term relationship.  This is the most lucrative option despite if you are the seller or the buyer. Creating those long lasting relationships is an integral part of a business growth strategy for one simple reason, volume discount –   or shall I say,  getting more bang for your buck because you “know a guy”.   

When I say “partner” vs. “vendor” what do I mean? Why should it matter to you?

VENDOR is an individual or business that ultimately competes on price. They are reactionary in their process and grow only by chasing deals. Vendors tend to prioritize cost cutting measures over quality of work. Vendors focus on cookie-cutter solutions.  A vendor will even push for strategies and solutions that your client will not need in order to get the up-sell. 

PARTNER works to create a relationship with his or her client. A partner diligently earns the respect of their client by providing value for the service or product they provide. Partners often serve as trusted consultants and when clients have a problem or need a strategic approach on a venture they are considering.

We suggest – gear your business towards the partner category. 

Here’s how:  

  1. Focus on creating collaborative environment with clients
  2. Provide solutions that consider your clients’ endgame
  3. Stay up to date on your clients’ updates
  4. Build trust by speaking honestly to your client rather than telling them what they want to hear. 
  5. Be respectful of your clients budget and time. A partner will treat every resource like it was theirs…with care.

Every tip outlined above is good and all but you will be hard pressed to successfully find a partner if you are not accountable with yourself. Being accountable pushes you to collaborate effectively, be comfortable speaking your truth to your partners about successes, pitfalls, and pivots. Honesty, integrity and accountability is essential in partnership building. 

Take charge of your success and be a partner not a vendor. 

Now, go to EHCU Public Relations Facebook page and shout out your favorite partner in business or your life under the #OpportunityReport post.