Strategy Partner With the Best
Selecting a marketing vendor such as a printer, list broker or consultant may not sound like a difficult task. But, how do you know if you're selecting the "right" vendor for your business? The relationship you have with vendors, particularly with your printer, is important. (Your printer probably is your largest, unsecured vendor.)
Two basic points that come up when selecting a vendor are price and attitude. Negotiate the best price you can with your vendor, but then cultivate the relationship. Price shouldn't be the No. 1 criterion when selecting a vendor. If the decision solely is based on price, the relationship is doomed. Start with a solid foundation that can grow stronger over time with other criteria, in addition to the price you pay for services.
The second basic point has to do with attitude. Your attitude toward your vendor and its attitude toward you — both are important. Your vendor should be viewed as a business partner, and should be treated accordingly.
Personal relationships have a lot to do with vendor selection. However, there's got to be more behind the selection. Consider the following criteria when selecting a marketing vendor:
Are company cultures a good match? Match your company's culture with that of your vendor. You must be comfortable with the people and company you're dealing with. Companies generally prefer working with businesses they can identify with culturally.
The company's size also should be taken into consideration. Very large companies have tremendous capabilities and resources, but whether they're structured to provide the level of service your company needs is a crucial question. Bigger isn't always better.
What's the supplier's work experience? Make certain the supplier has experience in your particular market niche. Is it a leader in its service segment? There's no substitute for experience — you're paying for what its people know. Don't train them.