Business partners fall into two groups. If you’ve read Fred Reichheld’s, The Ultimate Question, one group is a 10 or “extremely likely” to recommend. The other is maybe a 5, halfway toward “not at all likely” to recommend to anyone.
- Treat business partners fairly, look for value, communicate, and work together. (score as a 10)
- Treat business partners like the plague, look for cheap, complain about service, and treat partners as leaches. (score from 0 to 6)
In the aviation business, we saw both in air carriers. Some carriers knew that service based on price, price, price, was guaranteed to create problems, but then we would go to a contract negotiation. The carrier would demand that our price be no higher than the current service provider. When asked why they were switching, they would tell you, “because the service is lousy.” Ding! Ding! Ding! Are any bells going off?
Each company has challenges, but each must make a profit. Then does your company have a “service mentality” or a “maximize the bill” mentality? We have two service providers. One I asked a question about a journal entry and got a bill for $157. The call and email probably took five minutes. Are they that desperate for revenue? Definitely a 5.
We also use a digital marketing agency in Phoenix, ReThinc Advertising. I asked a question about one thing and got a response with ten ideas. When we started the negotiations, I thought we had firm, fair negotiations. Now we’ve been working with them for three months. They continue to amaze me, I feel like I should pay them more. I would definitely score them as a 10.
So examine your business relationships. How would your partners score you? Are you fair and working together or are you the plague that’s driving service to the bottom?