Treating customers right is a no-brainer, but being a good customer doesn’t always come as naturally.
As solopreneurs and small business owners, we want things done. We want things done now. We want things done right. We want things done at the right price.
Yes, we can be a demanding lot!
While we tend to at times bend over backwards to please our clients, we can be tough in equal proportion on those who provide us with services and products. It’s not wrong to expect quality, punctuality, and value, but it is wrong to treat vendors with a lack of respect and unreasonable demands.
How to Be a Good Customer
Are you the kind of customer you would welcome with open arms?
- Are you courteous…freely using “please” and “thank you”?
- Do you provide enough detailed information so vendors can do what they need to do effectively?
- Do you pay attention to the work vendors have completed and let them know early on in a project if you’ll need any adjustments?
- Do you have reasonable expectations for when a project should be completed?
- Do you respond promptly to vendors’ questions?
- Do you have a clear vision about what you want before you ask vendors to do work for you?
- Are you willing to pay a fair price for expertise and quality work?
- Are you understanding of delays due to unforeseen circumstances that are out of your vendors’ control?
- Do you show interest in and work toward forging ongoing professional relationships with vendors?
- Do you freely show appreciation of the work your vendors do for you?
- Do you write recommendations on Linkedin?
- Do you refer colleagues to your vendors?
Why Do Unto Vendors?
Besides the simple fact that treating others well is the right thing to do, treating vendors well has its business perks as well . By being a great customer, you build goodwill, trust and loyalty. Just as those things are important with your customers, they can lead to unexpected benefits when developed with vendors. You might find that your vendors will give you extras at either discounted rates or for free. You might gain new business through referrals from your vendors. You might find that vendors are more willing and able to accommodate the occasional rush order when you’re faced with an emergency need.
And on top of it all, word gets around. Vendors are part of the business community as a whole, which means they talk with other business owners and professionals about their experiences with other business owners and professionals. What would you want those conversations to sound like when your name enters the discussion?
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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