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Key Vendor Relationships

August 8, 2008

For thirteen years, I have been diligent in selecting reputable vendors for my event management clients. Delivering a high quality product accompanied by stellar customer service, has always been the characteristics I have required in a vendor.  In the event industry, vendors can make or break your own corporate reputation and make your job easier or harder.  


It’s not only important to find quality vendors, it’s important to maintain a mutual beneficial relationship for both parties. Just like in life, business relationships change over time, misunderstandings occur, small problems lead to mistrust, becoming too comfortable in the relationship can also lead to problems. It is vital to review, renew and sometimes reject long standing vendor relationships.


Reviewing the flow of business between both companies can help you decide if key vendors are sending customers back to you. In most cases, there should be a reciprocal return for business. Business is not a one way street anymore with the marketplace becoming so crowded with competition. Expect and ask for referrals from your top three vendors. Discuss the importance and benefits of exchanging new business leads to benefit both enterprises.


Renew your business relationship with your top corporate vendors annually. Schedule lunch and discuss the benefits of doing business together. Strategize on ways to improve your relationship for the future. A verbal discussion will help strengthen your commitment to support each other.


Realize and reject vendors who don’t willingly reciprocate with referrals, do not appreciate your business connection, or whose business philosophies you do not respect any longer. There are always natural endings to relationships in both life and business. Know when it is time to move on for the sake of your company and clients.


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