Pros and cons of meeting suppliers

As I write this, I am traveling to my home in Austin, Texas from a weeklong trip to see providers. Some are from the U.S.. Some are in China. My friends know how much time I spend meeting with providers. They frequently ask why do not I employ somebody for these meetings and these excursions.

For me, part of it is the enjoyment of traveling — doing exciting things in the places I go. However there are additional reasons to see my suppliers.

Let’s begin with why I must not see my providers.

No provider visits

The principal reason to never visit my suppliers is I don’t care about them. I do not mean to seem harsh. By way of instance, if I’m drop shipping from a provider that’s significantly larger than FringeSport, there could be no need to cultivate a relationship. There’s presumably small benefit to my company.

This also extends to providers that produce off-the-shelf goods. If you’re purchasing only from original equipment manufacturers, it will not make much sense to see them. You may easily send someone in your behalf should you do anything in any way.

Another reason to not care about your providers is should you purchase mainly on price, including a commodity or something which has little brand recognition and several alternatives. In case you have many possible providers and your main concern is the cheapest price, it makes little sense to construct an emotional connection with any individual provider. You are likely going to change to another provider anyway.

Ultimately, if you do not care to travel, or to go to with your providers and build relations, then you need to not do it, or hire someone to do it on your behalf.

Now, why should you see your providers?

Visits are useful

The main reason to see suppliers is to create relationships. If you treat providers like you are doing one-time deals, they are going to treat you in precisely the identical way. They’ll assume there is no possibility for a long term arrangement, only”Just how much can this company dictate? How often? Can it cover?”

However, if you see the provider, you can make the most of emotional bonds. You are able to cultivate a relationship that may pay dividends. Maybe the company will work with you on creating a personalized product. Perhaps it’s an item which you are able to sell exclusively.

What’s more, if you are working on complex projects with a provider, like creating a product from scratch, it makes a good deal of sense to go to. If you are going to interact over a protracted period, a little human connection can demonstrate the provider that you take the job seriously.

Another reason to develop emotional connections is for what happens down the road. By way of instance, when I was a worker, I built a relationship with a gentleman who sold products for my employer. I worked with him closely for five decades.

When I left the company to start FringeSport, this individual came to me and said, to paraphrase,”Peter, you treated me well throughout these years. I know you are going to be successful in your next venture. I’d like to participate somehow.” His support helped me begin FringeSport and make it effective in the first days.

What do you think? How do you manage relationships with your suppliers?

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