Typically, a vendor will seek to establish a relationship so transactions can take place involving either goods or services, between a paying customer and a provider. The arrangement is relatively simple actually, customers have needs and vendors are there to fulfill those needs and generate revenue.
A partner, on the other hand, becomes an extension of the client’s business and seeks to better understand the ultimate goals behind those needs. It matters because a partner assists the client in developing opportunities by contributing knowledge, expertise, and resources. Their products and services are but one component of a much broader and deeper relationship.
A partner, by contrast, is one that will look far beyond the simple transaction and ask themselves the question, how can I really help this client because their success will be my success down the road. A partner will take a more consultative approach to establish not only short-term goals but a longer-term vision to help customers grow their business.
The relationship is based on the fundamental principles of trust, transparency, and mutual respect. The common goal that ties a true partner with their customer is the willingness to better understand each other’s goals and set expectations accordingly.
It doesn’t suffice to simply provide the products and services. Partners take a discernable interest in their client’s short- and long-term objectives so they can better understand the bigger picture and make the right recommendations as a trusted advisor.
A great example is procuring highly specialized construction software for Concrete Producers. Even though Concrete producers are more well informed than ever before, with access to online search tools to evaluate and learn about products and services, the task is still tricky. When it comes to specialized software products which include Sysdyne’s ConcreteGO cloud dispatch, Pioneer Cloud Batch, and iStrada GPS/Truck tracking, there are several key factors to remember before making a decision. It involves establishing the fundamental principle on which the relationship will be based on.
The character, competency, and trustworthiness of the partner are as crucial as the features and functionalities. A partner will not just take the order, they will ask deeper questions to better understand the business goals that drive the longer-term vision of the customer’s business. They are not interested in pushing boxes of software, but rather how they can accompany customers to becoming more efficient, more profitable, and create a win-win situation for both. A great example is Change Management which is often overlooked when deploying software projects.
Deploying new software throughout the enterprise involves a lot of moving parts and people are reluctant to change by nature. A good partner will work with project stakeholders to build confidence and address any concerns throughout the process. Once a team mentality is established, trust and transparency will help guide the rest of the relationship to ensure proper goals are established and expectations are met.
Sysdyne believes in spending the necessary time to strategize with clients on how to build their business, by identifying very specific objectives and establishing milestones for success. They are willing to invest in developing the long-term relationship often at the expense of shorter-term gains and focus rather on building trust instead of short-term profit.
Vendors will tend to focus on completing the transaction and moving on, paying little attention to the real reasons or motivations for the transaction in the first place. Partners play the “long game” and it shows in the way they handle themselves right from the beginning, by being attentive and listening more than talking.