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January 28, 2015

Are you a partner… or just a vendor?

Not all clients are created equal.

To some, you’re a good vendor providing a valuable service. And that’s great.

But to others, you are a valued partner whose relationship goes beyond providing the service… you are an integral part of their organization. They rely on you not just for the work you do, but also for your counsel, advice and opinions.

And because you’re seen as such a valuable resource, sometimes what they ask about isn’t even related to your work together.

Don’t get me wrong… you love all your clients and bust your a** for them all. But for those that see you as partners in their success, the level of excitement in your work with them is at another level.

Understand that these relationships didn’t happen from Day 1. You earned that level of trust over time… with the work you’ve done for them… with the resources you’ve provided to help them… and with the suggestions and assistance you’ve provided in your day-to-day interactions with them. And finally, there’s also a certain level of personal chemistry that exists… when you and your contact(s) just “click!”

Is it possible to have this kind of partner-relationship with all clients?

In a perfect world… sure. But not in the real world. And that’s OK.

The fact is, not all clients want those kinds of vendors. Or there isn’t the chemistry that’s necessary to make it happen. Frankly, a majority of your clients will fall into the “not your partner” category.

But that doesn’t mean that shouldn’t be your goal. Aspire to that “partner” relationship… and even those that don’t truly partner with you will still be appreciative of the extra effort. So, regardless of the outcome… it’s still a win-win!

The bottom line is this… “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Good luck!

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