After almost a year since the pandemic started, I stepped out to meet one of our CEO clients at a café in Bandra. As his personal brand strategist, I was there to discuss with him on his social media content strategy for the next six months.
As usual, he was on time and exchanged a warm greeting as we met. I couldn’t stop observing his professional yet friendly approach. We had worked on various projects for a year, and I could sense the respect that he shared for me as a partner.
In fact, in the course of our discussion, I realized he had an ‘understanding approach’ towards every vendor, who he acknowledged as his partners. He was well aware of how your partners can impact your brand image building. He reinforced my belief that a strong relationship with one’s partners is one of the best reputation management techniques as your partners are your potential brand ambassadors.
Our meeting was a fruitful one, but apart from what we discussed, I realized a few things that made me reflect for the rest of the day. Sharing my thoughts here.
What happens if we treat Vendors as Partners?
Vendors are a value proposition to one’s company. A respectful relationship with them is a lifelong investment. You can expect their support whenever needed if you succeed in building a strong partnership with them. They will, in fact, work out ways to offer you special cost benefits, create personalized products/services, or help you meet deadlines in critical situations.
How do your partners (vendors) affect your Brand Image?
We share our work experiences, either good or bad, in our circle, especially with people in our industry. Such an exchange of words can have a significant impact. Especially, negative feedback can spread like wildfire damaging one’s brand image.
If we can support and respect our partners, automatically their word of mouth will garner us a lot of goodwill in the market. It’s a definite path towards success. By being harsh and critical about our partners we cannot get our work done. We can get the best out of them only when we give them the space to bring in their ideas and be understanding and empathetic in our approach. It’s all about humanizing the corporate structure because it is ultimately the people we are dealing with. After all, our brand isn’t just a logo design, product, or service, but it is about how we make others feel.
How to make your partners your Brand Ambassadors?
- GET THEM NEW PROJECTS: Refer them to your circle. They won’t step back from making you a priority and building your brand image through word of mouth.
- RESOLVE ISSUES: If your partners aren’t meeting your expectations, ensure that you have an open discussion to resolve the issues over the phone or have a one-to-one talk, not allowing misunderstandings to arise. Be professional but empathetic enough to understand their challenges too.
- ON-TIME PAYMENTS: It will not only increase your credibility but also enhance your company’s reputation.
My CEO client was a perfect example of a professional who knew the value of his partners and how to build a long-term partnership.
Fortunately, I have had the opportunity of working with many such clients. Here is a link to give you a glimpse of the kind of relationship we share as a company with some of our clients. Click here