Making the right choice in vendor partners can be a make-or-break business decision.  The right vendor partner can make you look great to your customers and help elevate the level of products and services that you provide while the wrong vendor partner can hurt your credibility with customers.  With multiple vendors to choose from in each area of your business, how do you choose the right vendor to partner with?

Here are a few points to keep in mind when choosing a new vendor partner:

  • Do your homework. Make a shortlist of vendors who have a solid reputation in their field for both their products and their customer service.  Keep in mind that you need a partner who is reliable and responsive to both you and your customer.
  • How do they support you? Do you have a specific account manager or support contact at the company or do you just call their toll-free number for support?  Having someone at the company who can act as an advocate on your behalf can be the difference between being just another customer and being a partner.
  • Is it a 360° partnership? Does the vendor offer sales and marketing support or just technical support?  A true partner will help by co-sponsoring webinars, customizing marketing materials and offering product demos.  After all, more sales for you means more sales for them, right?
  • Are they easy to work with? Partners should make your life easier, not more complicated!  Find someone who has the proper staffing to be able to handle new customers from the beginning of the sales process through implementation to the technical support and training that may be needed for years after the initial installation is complete.
  • What do their other partners have to say? Ask for references, then make sure you actually check them.  Ask questions about how long the references have worked with the partner and what their experience has been like.

There’s no “right way” to choose a vendor partner, just the way that works for your business.  If you keep the points above in mind it will help you choose the partner that will be the best fit for you and your client base.

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