Treat service providers like partners, not vendors!

Back in my corporate HR days, I had to work with many service providers ranging from event organizers, gift premium producers to trainers from different areas of specialization.

As a buyer, I suppose it’s perfectly natural to demand quality. But what was not ok was a statement that my manager made.

“Vendors are meant to be squeezed!”

Wow! That really shocked me.

While we as corporate HR may have the upper hand as a buyer, shouldn’t we treat the person delivering value to us with respect as well? Shouldn’t we focus on building a strong and lasting relationship because we are counting on the service provider to work with us to achieve our objectives? How do we expect them to do their job well or even exceed expectations if we try to squeeze them and make them so upset about the whole situation?

Even though I didn’t openly challenge my manager, I did not go with that mindset and focused on working with every single service provider with respect.

It paid off because all the providers that I worked with to date has gone the extra mile for me. Delivering more than they needed. Rushing quality work and giving me priority. Throwing in additional gifts for the company and more.

All these wouldn’t have taken place if I didn’t have such a strong relationship with them.

Relationships can be simple. If you treat someone with respect and take the effort to build it, you will see positive results. This applies to people at home, in life as well as service providers that you work with.

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