Last week I was thrown into an embarrassing business situation. Well, it was embarrassing for me anyway. For many this type of thing is so common, no one gives is a second thought.
I was just getting up from my desk to go check on something, when I caught the eye of my boss as he was walking hastily from his office. He told me to follow him. As we walked through the building, heading to the direction of the front office door, he told me that a supplier was coming for a visit. He want me to get a conference room ready and get an audience together to meet with the vendor to discuss their product. I told him I could do that without a problem.
It couldn't have been timed better if I planned it out. As we rounded the corner to get to the front desk and lobby, I asked when is our supplier going to be here. My boss replied "he's already here. I'll introduce you to him on my way out."
So just like that I was shaking the hand of a supplier who was ready to give my company a well planned out presentation on his products and services. And the only person at my company who had any idea he was coming was walking out of the building.
In a recent blog post, Biblical Leadership Advice, I said "you want Supplier Loyalty, be loyal to your suppliers." What was taking place was the 180° of that. What we showed our supplier was that we thought so little of them, that we made an appointment for them to meet with us and we didn't give that a second thought until the very moment the meeting was planned to start.
One may think "so what? It's just another sales call." And it just might be another sales call, but it's another chance to make a personal connection. Many in business focus on impressing and keeping on the good side of their Customers. For a good relationship with your customers is very rewarding. But we forget how rewarding a good relationship with our suppliers and vendors.
When a project goes south and you have a good relationship with a Customer, they may be more forgiving if a delivery date slips. But if you have a good relationship with a Vendor, they may be able to expedite things on their end without your Customer even knowing the delivery date was in jeopardy in first place.
We often forget just how important our Suppliers are. They need to be treat as good, if not better than our Customers for our business relationship with them is just as important if not more.