The Vendor Event

 

So you’re doing business with these folks all year long, right?

Which folks, you ask?  Why ,  your vendors of course!

These people provide you with ALL of the products and services you  use and may also offer to your clients.

I would suggest that these vendor relationships are extraordinary, intimate and valuable.

And yes, I did say intimate. 

How well do your vendors really know you? I bet quite well. You have leaned on them and they have leaned on you.  And after all, isn’t that what relationships are all about?

In many cases you would be lost without them. And consider this: some  may  even  be  “ideal” clients!  Many might even refer a prospect–or at least be capable of it!

This  team of professionals that service you and your business represent a wonderful opportunity.

The Vendor Dinner

Each year, my wife and I look at our list of vendors and ask a simple, yet very important question: “In the past year, who are the top 8 individuals that have ADDED THE MOST VALUE to our business?”

Usually the answer is obvious, and many individuals make the list year-after-year.

Once we have established the list, we invite each individual to a  group  dinner on us, complete with a private room, open bar, an excellent meal (appropriate to the times, this year our vendors requested a nice burger place!) and great conversation.

We let them know with a grand toast that we are successful because of their help and assistance.

They definitely feel appreciated!

This has been going on now for 12 years and has certainly been worth it.

Many have become clients, most have become friends, and several have referred prospects–and all have taken great care of us whenever we’ve needed it!

We are just beginning to think about next year’s event, which will take place as it always does in February.

So consider thanking them in a tangible and special manner. 

This has arguably been the most successful event we hold each year, and it is always a lot of fun!

Guide – Thanking people for their help and loyalty goes both ways.

Action Item – Plan a Vendor dinner for some of your most valuable relationships.

© 2009 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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6 Responses to “The Vendor Event”


  1. 1 Thomas Scanlon, CPA,CFP® January 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Eliot,

    EXCELLENT POST. The Vendor Dinner is certainly something everyone should take a hard look at.

    I would add the following:

    • Pay your vendors timely – they have cash flow considerations also.

    • Push them hard only when you REALLY need it.

    • Give them referrals- help them build their business.

    • Don’t wait a year to thank them formally. There should be many opportunities throughout the year to thank them informally.

    Regards,

    Tom

  2. 2 Scott Freitas July 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    This is a great post! Anyone in any industry could benefit from having functions like this. Reading this gave me an idea that we are now in the process of planning for everyone that helped sponsor my son’s racecar this past season. In late fall, we will be having the first annual sponsors appreciation BBQ and picnic at a one of the beautiful county parks in our area. Due to our budget my brother and I will be doing the grilling, but I am sure a great time will be had by all and our sponsors will get some time to network with the other sponsors too.

  3. 4 Holly July 27, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Uh–humm—where’s my invite? Just kidding.


  1. 1 Yea for the product guys (and gals)! « The Advisor's Guide to Success Trackback on January 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

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