In today’s TLDCast episode, with spoke with Virtual Learning Collaborative Director Sonia Furini about 5 Tactics for Great Client/Vendor Relationships.
The 5 Tactics are:
Partnership Sonia emphasized that you’ll know in the first five minutes if a client/vendor relationship is going to work. The relationship has to be one of a partnership, where both parties are focused on working together to be successful. Collaborative, cooperative, and team-oriented elements are what makes a Partnership work. And it’s especially important to define expectations across the board.
Communication There may not be a more critical component to the relationship with your client than Communication. Be responsive, set realistic expectations, and be consistent about communicating with your client. Make sure your client understands that you’re there for them. And not just across single interactions, but all of them. Set a communication cadence, be proactive, set reminders for yourself and have a plan. Be as thorough as possible; you are in service of your client, make sure your client feels that experience.
Honesty It goes without saying that you need to be honest. Be transparent about your needs and interactions. Ask for what you need, take ownership of your responsibilities and maintain as much clarity about projects as possible. Ensure you have the capacity to properly partner with your client. If not, let them know as soon as possible.
Availability Be there for your client. That’s what you’re getting compensated for. Establish and set the pace. Provide some predictability for your customers to ease any anxiety about whether or not you’ll be available. Be true to your behavior, as well as consistent. And watch that volume! Focus on the relationship; you’re needed.
Agility Everyone needs to have workarounds. Unexpected pop-ups are unavoidable, so it’s important to remain malleable and expect changes. Adapting to this dynamic can successfully assist you in building trust with your client, making you look more reliable and trustworthy.
Vendor/Client relationships are all about treating people right, being fair and wanting the best results for all, not just for yourself. Making progress toward growth and improvement are key factors in finding success with your relationship, and it’s always important to find solutions that benefit both sides.
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