You have given a great proposal to your client and laid out the building blocks of building a business but because the economy is slowing down they are reluctant to invest the dollars called for in your proposal. Welcome to the see-saw economy. While some businesses see this a great time to invest in their brands and technology to get closer to customers others are concerned about any request to spend money especially when it calls for a lot of money. Can you get them to move off the dime ? Yes you can…
Vendor-client relationships are changing as rapidly as consumer marketing is changing. The days of being “just a vendor” are coming to an end. Now you have to be an information source, help them sort out the hype from the reality and more importantly you have to look after THEIR interests not just yours.
I believe that if you treat your clients like you work for them and earn their trust they will repay you with continued business. It’s not easy because it can mean saying no to things they may want but you know are not right for their business. In the end if a program doesn’t work you’re going to get the blame not the person who hired you, although that sometimes is the case.
I treat all my clients like I work for them and I have turned down business when I knew that what they wanted was not going to work for their brand or company. Sometimes it’s not having the resources to implement a program correctly other times you know that doing something for the sake of doing something is a waste of money and ultimately is going to be a bad reflection on you.
There are even times when you may need to fire a client. That’s right. If you are providing a service and all they do is complain you need to rethink the value you are adding because their negative backlash can hurt your company in a social media connected world. If an accounts business is flat and they insist on doing the same thing rather than invest more dollars into growing the business than you need to take your “A” team off the account and turn it over to someone who can provide the maintenance they need.
I don’t like the term vendor anymore. A vendor is someone who does a task and sends you a bill. A business partner is someone who takes a vested interest in seeing your business increase organically by looking after your interests.