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Working with Vendors Creating Partnerships that Work - TACAC MMI

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Presentation by Don Tollman at the TACAC Conference 2015.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Working with Vendors Creating Partnerships that Work - TACAC MMI

  1. 1. Working with Vendors Creating Partnerships that Work Don Tollman Vice President, Non-Profit & Foundation Partnerships April 10, 2015
  2. 2. 2 You Know What They Say… “Vendors – You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them”
  3. 3. 3 You Know What They Say… “Vendors – You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them” The reality is this most organizations can’t exist without vendors
  4. 4. 4 You Know What They Say… “Vendors – You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them” The reality is this most organizations can’t exist without vendors It takes work to build good vendor relationships
  5. 5. Some vendors can be annoying, overbearing, and obnoxious - Many newbies get sales training that tells them this is effective - We know it is not - Often trying to sell you a product you don’t want or need No is a perfectly good answer when applicable - Don’t waste your or the salesperson’s time - Recognize they are just doing their job 5 The Truth is…
  6. 6. Don’t abuse vendors by asking for detailed quotations and proposals for equipment or services you don’t intend to buy - Again, NO is OK It’s a lot of work to respond to an RFP, or to create a detailed quotation - Make sure there is a chance to win your business 6 Play Fair…
  7. 7. Turning Vendors into Partners
  8. 8. Data Security - Make sure you understand how personal data will be collected and used - Scrutinize data security and privacy policies Financial Stability - If relying on a long-term solution, make sure the company is positioned to fulfill your contract 8 Two Important Issues to Consider When Selecting a Vendor
  9. 9. It takes work to develop good relationships - Remember, you need them to achieve your goals, and they need you to thrive as a business Building relationships with key vendors should be on your ongoing task list - They should be valued members of the team, and treated as such - It’s not “bad business” to develop positive relationships with these folks just because they send you bills for their services 9 Establishing Good Vendor Relationships
  10. 10. Assure the vendor understands your needs and vision - Select those who match your organization’s culture and values – ask lot’s of questions - Look for somebody you can work with frequently, will perform work at the level you expect, and will contribute to your project - While budgets are extremely important, the “cheapest” product might now be the best solution 10 Things to Consider When Building Vendor Partnerships
  11. 11. They should be valued members of your team - They are providing a service that you either don’t want to provide yourself or simply don’t have the ability to perform – trust their expertise - Welcome them as an extension to your team - Treating them as “that company that just takes money to provide a service” doesn’t benefit either party • And, if they are “that” company, wrong partner 11 Work “With” Your Vendor Partners
  12. 12. Before selecting a vendor… - Research references and look at work samples - Meet several times before committing to a contract • Listen to their advice and judgment on what they know best, their business By the time you start your project, mutual trust should be well established - If trust has not been established, don’t start the project 12 The Vendor as a Collaborator – Create a Contract of Trust
  13. 13. Treat your vendor partner with the same respect as you would anyone else on your payroll - Make them a member of your team - Be fair - Expect the best - Set realistic goals and expectations - Listen to their feedback 13 Make Insiders Out of Outsiders
  14. 14. If the vendor made your project a success, then… - Maintain your ties and draw upon their experience in the future • Create a true trusted partner - Become a reference for your vendor partner • Referrals can help increase the success of your vendor partner, assuring they will be there when you need them 14 Don’t End the Relationship With the Completion of the Contract
  15. 15. Thank You! Don Tollman don.tollman@hobsons.com Twitter: @Don Tollman

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