. . . . with your trading partners (either your customers or suppliers)? Many believe that the relationship begins AFTER the contract is signed. In other words, it is OK to be adversarial throughout the selling / buying and contracting process (dating / pre-marriage) and then switch to collaborative after the deal is signed (the marriage). When you think about it in those terms, the notion is ridiculous. To illustrate the issue, here is a video that we love to use in our Relationship Management training.
While the examples are funny (and extreme) to illustrate the point, they are typical behaviors we see with both buyers and sellers. The sad part is that we still believe that those behaviors are OK pre-marriage / contract and can be “taken back” after the contract is signed. The point here is that you need to start developing a relationship at the beginning of the process. Anything other than that, is destroying VALUE and can potentially have an irrevocable impact on how you work together going forward.
If you see yourself, your staff, your colleagues or your trading partners’ behaviors in this video, take a step back and reevaluate. If the goal is to be a Customer or Supplier of Choice (if that is not your goal, it should be) then adjust your approach accordingly. As Dalip pointed out in his last blog, there is a “cost” associated with bad trading relationships and it is NOT insignificant. Make 2016 the year you put better relationships at the top of your list.
Let us know what you think and join in the conversation . . . . . .