Branding your Business and Marketing to Become a Partner, not a Vendor

The word vendor can have a bad meaning… If your customer is just price shopping, the “v” word means you don’t have a strong relationship between the companies.

If your offering goes beyond price to convey convenience and added value your customer needs, you strengthen the relationship. Add to that the quality, style and timing — you’ve got the making of a very strong relationship — almost a partner!

So how do you brand and market your company to become a partner?

There are many steps along the sales cycle. The first step with marketing is getting found by your potential market. One new directory that I recently found is called http://www.ibuyneo.com/ meaning I buy Northeast Ohio from COSE, the council of smaller enterprise, a division of the Cleveland Chamber or the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

By any name, I think the website is pretty slick. If you can get past the hard to read typeface, I think it’s clever that you can pick a vendor by county, industry and/or keyword.

As a supplier partner, I like the fact that I can post a bio about the company, link to my website, offer a discount to COSE members and provide a quick way to find my company on the internet.

Is there an “I Buy NE Ohio” type directory for your area of the country? Why not!?! If there is, are you in the directory? Why not!?!

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

3 thoughts on “Branding your Business and Marketing to Become a Partner, not a Vendor”

  1. You know, Chris, I can’t agree with you more. I don’t refer my business associates as vendors or suppliers. I thought that was not respectful Without their support, I would not be able to service my clients well.
    I also don’t call my clients as customers.

    To those who understood, they appreciate the big difference the word made.

  2. Vivenne:
    I call outside contractors who supply work that is not “custom” suppliers, but outside contractors who provide a service that is highly customized, strategic partners. I don’t use the phrase business associates because to me it infers they are employees and I like to differiate between the two. To me the word customer is not a bad word… I use client for a service and customer for a product… Consumer for a retail product and end user for the person who actually uses it.

    Does that make sense? Offend?
    Chris

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