True Partnerships

This is the time of year where we conduct Annual Account Reviews for our top accounts. We had the pleasure this week of visiting one of our most enjoyable and exciting clients. Now, their product line is nothing any of us would jump up and down about because it’s just the everyday products and services that any business would need.

I always feel it’s much easier to market a Kindle Fire or the newest Porsche model than it is to market paper goods or social media services. With that said, the reason this client is such a joy for us to work with is their attitude and true love of what they do.

We had a slow start with them. We knew we would be a great vendor, but it took us a while to convince them before they would give us a chance. But, when they gave us that opportunity, it was like angels were singing and bells were ringing. It’s this type of account that makes coming to work fun!

They consider us a true partner and extension of their internal team. They value the knowledge we have and seriously consider the ideas we bring to the table. They are confident that we will do what we say. The marketing team understands that nothing stays the same and they are always looking for the best channel to spread their message. They are receptive to trying something new, when it makes sense. So who wouldn’t want a customer like that?

But, here’s the best part. They understand that being on the cutting edge can sometimes blow up in your face. New technology doesn’t always work perfectly and, quite frankly, most of the latest and greatest doesn’t have a college degree associated with it. So, this means that we’re all learning together and some of it is by trial and error.

We’ve had a few bumps and we’ve made a few mistakes, but all they ever cared about was how we could fix the problem, what we could do to prevent it from happening in the future and if there was anything they could do to help. Again, who wouldn’t want a customer like that?

When organizations first began speaking of partnerships between vendor and customer, what that usually meant was the customer was looking for a price break from the vendor. So, we vendors became a little skittish whenever the word “partnership”would appear. We knew what was coming – the lengthy RFP, followed by an RFQ, followed by security hoops, insurance requirements and the final coup de grace was the rebate they expected in return for giving you their business for the cheapest price in town. Partnership? I don’t think so!

So, during this holiday season, we at multi-craft are thankful for our clients that allow us to bring a real value to the relationship and are willing to reward us with their trust, their business and the ability to make a fair profit. Plus – don’t forget the fun we get to have when working with those special clients!

 

About Debbie Simpson

President of Multi-Craft in Newport, Kentucky.
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