Building Strong Working Relationships with Your Suppliers

Being the new face in the industry can be difficult. Because you have yet to make a name for yourself, you’re going to be starting from scratch for a long time. Plus, you won’t have your good reputation to precede you, so other business owners won’t be all that thrilled to have the chance to work with you.

However, instead of seeing that as a flaw, you can look at it as an opportunity to build strong relationships with your suppliers and vendors. Since you still have a blank slate, you have the power to write your own narrative and work your way towards success from the ground up because not everyone has the chance to do that.

If you don’t want to be known as someone difficult to work with in your industry, you have to make sure that you’re not making a bad impression on others. Never mind that you’re still new to the scene; what’s important is that you’re establishing a credible brand and name for yourself. So, here’s how you can create strong working relationships with your suppliers:

Keep Communication Lines Open

Much like any other relationship, open communication is important to establishing mutual trust and transparency with your suppliers. You won’t be able to achieve anything together if you’re walking on eggshells all the time, simply because you’re afraid of speaking out or voicing your concerns even when they are valid.

You have to remember that you’re still a customer in this equation, which means you have to make sure that you’re getting the service you were promised. However, this is not to say that you should demand things when the situation doesn’t call for it. Learn how to find the balance between friendship and professional relationships.

Getting together with your suppliers over coffee outside of working hours may also do wonders for your business relationship, but that still depends on what type of relationship you’re hoping to have. If you’re going for a more amicable relationship, then maybe you can even invite each other for beers. Just make sure to mind your boundaries.

Always Respect One Another

Even if you’ve become friends with your suppliers because you’ve been working together for a long time, maintaining a certain level of respect is still necessary. There are lines that you should never cross to establish your professional relationship, especially because some things can ruin years of friendship in a matter of seconds.

This can include having respect for one another’s time and schedules. For instance, you’re planning to extend your partnership for another year, which is why you have to send over the new contract drafts. However, you planned to do it at a time that’s convenient to you without taking your supplier’s schedule into account.

Not only can this be seen as a disrespect for the other’s time, but it can also show that you don’t care for anyone other than yourself, despite it being untrue. So if you need to send over essential documents, discuss at a time that’s convenient for both of you and use contract delivery specialists to ensure that the papers are in good hands.

Respect can also be shown when it comes to your individual beliefs, values, principles, and worldviews. If you don’t think that you’re in the position to comment about your suppliers’ personal lives, then it might be better not to, if only to preserve your working relationship. But of course, this doesn’t apply to situations where their beliefs are hurting other people or impeding their rights.

Maintain the Buyer-Seller Personas

At the end of the day, you’ll still be considered a customer by your supplier, which means they value your loyalty to their company. Show your suppliers that you know where to place your loyalties when they are warranted, so they can use that as motivation to provide you with better service.

Many business owners fear that their customers will slowly get out of their grasp because they’re chasing after better deals. But that won’t help you create strong working relationships with your suppliers. That’s why you have to let your suppliers know that as long as they don’t do anything that will force you to find another supplier, they can trust that you’ll stay loyal to them.

This way, you can continuously hone your mutually beneficial relationship and work together for a long time. After all, supporting one another’s businesses is important to last in your chosen industries. So, you can’t let a trustworthy and kind entrepreneur lose faith in your buyer-seller relationship.

Having a strong relationship with your suppliers can benefit your business’s bottom line because you won’t have to keep scouring the market to find new people to work with. That’s why if you believe that you’ve found the right suppliers for your business, do your best to hone and cultivate your professional relationship to make it last.

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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