How to build a vendor relationship

Successful business owners are always looking for ways to build good relationships with their customers. But many businesses forget that having a good relationship with their vendors is also critical to their success. Just like with customers, apply the ‘golden rule’ to vendors as well. Always treat them the way you want to be treated.

You can start by being a great customer. That means being courteous, showing up for meetings on time, returning phone calls in a timely manner, placing your orders in a user-friendly way, and above all paying your bills on time or even early. Don’t forget to express an interest in their business. Let them know how much their goods or services are helping you. Give them feedback from your customers. Write a testimonial about their products if appropriate. Don’t be afraid to let them know what you think they do well and what needs improvement. Set up a schedule to contact them just to check in.

One sure way to build a good relationship is to give your vendors referrals that they can use as leads to other potential customers. If you bend over backwards for your vendors, they are likely to bend over backwards for you too. Think of them as being just as important to your business as your customers, because they really are.


President, Business 360 Northwest

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