Strategic suppliers show and (don’t just) tell
One of my LinkedIn connections recently shared an article about strategic thinking and what that really means for marketers. It is a great piece, which got me thinking about strategic suppliers. (Check it out by following the link below.)
I often sit through presentations from suppliers that spend a lot of their presentation time telling me how strategic they are. They might even go through their unique strategic process to support this assertion. I thought it might be valuable to share what strategic suppliers do to actually convince me of their strategic value during an initial RFI response:
- Once they receive the RFI, they do a lot of research before having an initial call to discuss the opportunity
- They include colleagues with the most relevant experience and let them drive the call
- They ask really good questions! Because they have done their homework and bring relevant experience to the table, they ask educated and purposeful questions – about the individual clients, personality, experience, expectations, main concerns and goals
- They use the answers to prepare a targeted response based on what is most important and relevant to the client
- They include concise and highly relevant case studies to illustrate specifically how they would support a similar successful outcome for your business
- They pause while presenting to ask more relevant questions and happily dig deeper to provide additional relevant information
When they finish their presentation, they offer additional information as needed: what would make the client confidently engage this supplier? They also ask about potential roadblocks: what would prevent this client from engaging them?
When strategy is important to my clients – which is almost always – I look for suppliers that don’t bother telling me that they are strategic, because they don’t need to.
I welcome your opinion on what differentiates strategic suppliers.
Here’s a link (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/strategic-thinkers-see-questions-before-answers-graham-robertson) to Graham Robertson’s article that inspired this week’s blog.
If you are looking for strategic suppliers, I invite you to join www.tealbook.com and use our RFI tool to receive credible and relevant supplier recommendations to support your business.