“Vendor”-Client Relationships

Our goal is to move beyond ‘vendor’ status to become trusted advisors and consultants with our client companies. So – how do we get past scenarios like the ones outlined in this video?

How many of you have ever encountered situations like these? Clients essentially asking you to work for free, or wanting to ‘test out’ your services with a promise to pay next time, or even haggling your fee to an unacceptable low. Forming strategic relationships does require some negotiation, but this must happen on both sides of the table. Sustainable relationships involve both parties benefiting (known in nature as a symbiotic relationship), not just one (known in nature as a parasitic relationship).

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How have you or your company gotten past these types of scenarios? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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5 Comments on ““Vendor”-Client Relationships

  1. It would be more amusing if it weren’t so real/visceral/and at times, clearly ridiculous. Reminds me of my retail days where people would look at you like you lost your mind when you had sales of 30/40/50 off/Clearance Rack/knowing the margins are very thin.

    I like Neil Lebovits approach to this. Perhaps you have enjoyed his explanations of how not to “negotiate” fees.

    I am seeing better days ahead. Just landed three biggest assignments…they have been looking for quite awhile/was my first client 22 years ago, and the fee is most excellent.

  2. That’s really great to hear, David! And I remember hearing Neil talk about the importance of not negotiating fees – it’s very critical to stay true to how you’ve priced your time. The scenarios in the video put into other life situations actually show how ridiculous they really are. Perhaps clients should take a look as well…

  3. I think any of these or a combination work. Ask for it, Deserve it, Earn it.
    Richie Harris taught me to say “We have to have a common goal,total trust and care about each other as people.” I don’t SAY that all the time but I actually have said it a few times and I approach all situations now realizing that this is the standard. I know I usually have something less but I work on what might get me closer to it. I love this video.

    I sent it to some clients whe I first saw it a couple years ago.

  4. I think any of these or a combination work. Ask for it, Deserve it, Earn it.
    Richie Harris taught me to say “We have to have a common goal,total trust and care about each other as people.” I don’t SAY that all the time but I actually have said it a few times and I approach all situations now realizing that this is the standard. I know I usually have something less but I work on what might get me closer to it.

    I love this video. I sent it to some clients when I first saw it a couple years ago.

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