Establishing Great Relationships With Your Vendors
Kate Talcott Artistry is all about community. It is a driving force behind our business. We want to create a community with our customers and we want to encourage community amongst friends as you send our goodies to each other. In addition to this, community behind the scenes is not to be forgotten. Now I don’t just mean making time for me to grab drinks with a friend (though what I’d do for a patio hang out right now…) what I mean is fostering a community with all the different people who help get our products from ideas to reality. Today I’m talking about VENDORS.
Vendors are the people who we work with to create or provide things that we don’t do in house. For example, our local printer Perfect Press is a huge part of what keeps us running smoothly. We like to source things as close to home as possible and all our vendors are based in North America, mostly in the US. Vendors can be big companies like ULINE, or smaller two-man operations like where we get our totes printed, Seattle Custom Printing.
When working with vendors, having a good relationship can be paramount! Here are a few things that can be helpful in establishing a good relationship with your vendors.
- Remember, they are human! Generally speaking, you are not communicating with bots. Make sure to say please and thank you and remember that we all are working with constraints outside of our control. Manners can go a long way.
- Ask the name of the person who you are speaking with or emailing with. Often it can help to speak with the same person each time, if possible, so they can become familiar with details about your product. Also, everyone likes being referred to by name.
- Speak with them about your project idea. If you aren’t sure about something, just ask. Everyone who I have spoken with has been very kind about me asking them “dumb” questions about taxes, resellers permits, standard envelope size… whatever. They want your business too, they’re not going to be jerks (and if they are, then it might be a good idea to use a different vendor).
- Ask for samples. Sometimes samples are free and sometimes you have to pay. Either way, it is always good to know what the products are going to look and feel like in person. Sample booklets are also great to have on hand once you know you like working with a certain vendor.
- Communicate your project needs clearly. If there is a deadline for a project, mention that upfront to make sure that it is doable with their schedule.
- Share the love! If you are happy with your products, make sure to give them a great review. Just like you love an amazing review for your product, stellar reviews help them too!
- Don’t forget to ask about submitting your reseller’s permit! You want to make sure you’re not paying taxes if you don’t have to.
- Try to respond to emails promptly. In order to get your project moving along communication is a two way street.
- Don’t forget to attach your files and read the design specification guidelines. A lot of places require a certain bleed line or file type.
- Sign up for their email list. This is always helpful to snag the latest deals or get any updates on offerings.
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