November 15, 2018
By: Adolfo Paredes | Business Development Advisor
For any industry, you will always be dealing with a lot of different service providers, and developing long-term relationships with them can mean the difference between remaining stagnant and continuing to grow. From carpet cleaners to plumbers and software providers, these vendors ideally become trusted allies you can depend on. So what differentiates a service provider from a real partner? We’ll show you how to spot the difference and help foster those connections. With some practice, you’ll also be able to determine which new providers have the potential to support you in strategic decision-making over the years.
There when you need them
How easy is it to get a hold of your vendors when you need their services? Some companies filter you through their office managers or call centers, making you wait to schedule them and treating you like any other new client. When service providers provide you with a direct line to call, or even their cell numbers, you start to feel like your business is important to them; that they care about being available. Fostering a direct connection also allows them to customize their services to your business needs instead of just offering a standard solution.
Advice and dialogue
You’re part of the same industry and have a unique understanding of the nuances of your business. So who do you call to pick their brain or ask for their perspective? A partner goes beyond just providing information about how their services can help you (and therefore bill you for more time). They’ll be the ones you can count on to help you make educated decisions, and they understand your position within the company and how you may need to answer to higher-ups.
Let’s talk about pricing
As trusted partners ourselves, we take care to provide our clients with all information necessary to make informed choices, and provide background data to help present our outsourcing solutions to management. We’re also conscious of the fact that clients need to compare pricing and services with other companies, which is why we try to make the process as transparent and efficient as possible.
A partner takes the time to get to know your business, your concerns and your goals, and offer different options instead of just sending over a quote for you to approve or reject. Custom proposals take time, but this important step marks the difference between just being a service provider.
Networking and connections
Quality partners are likely to have important industry connections, and will take the time to refer you to their own partners. They can also help you make decisions regarding services outside of their scope, and again, taking the time to provide guidance adds value that a normal service provider doesn’t attain.
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