[for the purpose of this blog, I will provide my perspective of a vendor selling into Magnolia]
Vendor: “a person or company offering something for sale[i]”. I work with many vendors at Magnolia. From ones that prospect for our business to great partners that help us serve our clients. What makes a long term partner for me is someone who takes the time not only to understand our business but our clients as well. It’s easy to take your services and apply the same paint brush across the board. But it’s the vendors who have us top of mind and put in the effort to figure out both our needs and the needs of our clients who will likely have longer term success with us.
1. Take the time to understand the business.
Do the research and be smart about what we do, our niche and how we support our clients. In doing so, you can recommend your specialties to best service our needs and in turn better serve our clients too. For example, when we work with our PR vendors, it’s vital that we provide them with a detailed briefing on our clients and how their services can best help them. If our clients have specific verticals they target, then it’s incumbent on the PR vendor to cater specific programs tailored to this need.
2. Be ahead of the game.
No one knows your business better than you. Be proactive in coming to us with latest trends or tools that we can use. It’s refreshing when we get industry insights that only our vendors would know. For our tradeshow vendors, it’s always a pleasure to get the latest in tradeshow exhibits, such as materials, cost reduction ideas and tips on getting crates delivered in and out of the venue in the most efficient manner.
3. Make it easy to do business with you.
I believe this is a central theme that should run through all aspects of one’s business. From credit application to invoicing to being responsive to queries, make it easy to work with you. Put in place policies and procedures that clearly state who the main point of contact is and, if that person is away, who will take over their responsibilities. If deemed appropriate, build web portals to give your clients customized and 24/7 access to essential information.
[i] Oxford Dictionaries