Jun 21 2010

Save Money, Be Nice


by Andrew DiFiore

Anyone in the service business knows not all clients are created equally. And not all clients are easy to work with. So this post is not for the professional who puts their clients first but for the client who assumes their vendors are second-class citizens.

Just because you’re paying someone for their services doesn’t mean that they are desperate for work or that this somehow gives license to treat them poorly. The fact of the matter is that you need them more than they need you. You have a problem to solve. You need a pro to help solve it. So be nice… and you might actually save yourself time and money.

While it is true enough that not all vendors are created equally (too), if you’re well prepared and listen closely, it is fairly easy to recognize those people who really know what they are doing (and not just giving lip service).

Tip: The more “buzz” a topic gets (e.g. social media), the more charlatans crawl out of the woodwork. So be wary… but be nice.

Having had a bad experience with a vendor doesn’t mean the next one is going to be just as bad. If you need to, take a break to restore equilibrium to your objectivity. It is always best to error on the side of caution and give the next person the benefit of the doubt. I know it is not always easy (which is why I never respond to emails when angry) but trust me, it will serve you well in the long run. Stay focus on your goal.

How does this save you money?

Is it really that hard to imagine that the people who are true professionals do what they do because they love it? And because they love it they are very good at it. It is not all about making money but they certainly know what their time and knowledge and talents are worth. They don’t need your validation.

When a vendor is facing the prospect of working with a client that respects their time/knowledge/talents versus one that does not, they will either go with the former (most cases) or charge a lot more (exception to the rule).

In addition, if you are not nice then you’re most likely going to end up with only charlatans to choose from. A charlatan may charge you less upfront but it will cost a lot more time/money in the end (and you may still not have solved your problem). As David Ogilvy once put it: “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

So be nice.

It cost nothing and it can save plenty.


Aug 17 2009

Vendor Client Relationships


by Andrew DiFiore

If you are in a service-oriented business then I’m sure you can relate to this video. I once had a client offer to pay me in chocolates! In fairness, she was a gourmet chocolatier and it might have been a sweet deal but I couldn’t get my landlord to bite.

I’m sure we all have stories like these. Please feel free to share one of them with us. Rants are welcomed.