By Jacob Yount
Keep in mind in dealing with vendors…
I’m not their only customer.
I’m not their biggest customer. Even if I am, they probably have hopes of growing a larger clientele base.
I may be big, but they’ve probably seen bigger.
They were in business before me and will be in business after me.
Even if their business is based on my presence then their business may not be very sustainable. I’m not sure I want to work with them…
They may not personally like me.
Have I been pleasant to work with?
Would I want to work with me?
Have you ever had that type of customer where every time you see one of their emails or number on the caller ID you let you an inner groan?
If something goes wrong, is it worth explaining it to them thoroughly?
Will my explanation come off in a way that renders improvement in the process or will they perceive it as only a complaint?
Do I want to work with them again?
Is the issue a 1-off or is it a pattern?
Who’s my contact person?
Will the experience improve if my point-of-contact changes?
Am I a large enough customer for them to care?
How can I or my organization become a more valued customer?
Should the relationship start with them treating me like royalty or does that come over time?
Do I first need to buy or order a certain amount?
In other words, do customers need to prove themselves?
As a customer should I ask my vendors, “what can we do to improve your job, in turn helping you to better do what you do?”
I’ve found in my own transactions, especially the international ones NOT ASSUMING a level of importance goes a long way.
Jacob Yount lived in China from 2001 to 2012, during which time he started JLmade. He is now based out of North Carolina in the US and his home office is still in Suzhou, China; manufacturing and exporting branded merchandise, promotional products and retail gifts for distributors worldwide. Contact Jacob at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on his blog.