Vendor.  We’ve had them and we bet you have too.  A few of the definitions available for vendor are:

  1. Someone who promotes or exchanges goods or services for money.
  2. One who disposes of a thing in consideration of money.
  3. A person or agency that sells.

We don’t like any one of these definitions.  And we don’t want to be your vendor. It doesn’t convey our heartbeat as a company.  Vendor simply implies an exchange for money.

We have other words that we prefer that really get down between the bone and marrow of why we started this company 20 years ago. 

Teammate…  Partner…  Associate…  Collaborator… Comrade… Helpmate

Now these words imply a symbiotic relationship in which all parties are working toward a common goal and helping each other succeed. That’s our heart – relating to our clients.  So what does this look like in business?  How can you tell if the company you are researching for a needed service will be your vendor or your teammate?

Our experience has uncovered 3 more words to consider when making a decision about partnering for a service.

Identify  –       Listen    –     Responsive 

The right choice should identify with who and what your company is and not attempt to force you into something you are not.  No one understands your business like you do.  You need a service to give you something you don’t know how to do or have time to do yourself.  A great prospect will bring a plethora of fantastic ideas based on a solid understanding who you are and not run you through a cookie cutter process they apply to all of their customers.

A partner will listen intently to learn who you are and to discern your unique needs. Their listening skills should be so in tune to what you are saying that they can hear what you need even though you don’t know you need it. A janitorial customer of ours recently commented that one of her cleaners always forgets to reset the alarm at a job site.  Because we were listening, we discerned that our new Custom Prompts would solve this problem perfectly.  Any extra charge for that, she asked?  Of course not.

A teammate will be responsive to your requests and evolving needs. If they can deliver, they will and keep you updated along the way.

However, a responsibility comes with this responsiveness.  A good teammate will be honest.  If you are asking for something that really isn’t in your best interest, you deserve to be advised, even if it means the loss of a sale.  A good partner wants to build a long term relationship and isn’t short sighted.

As for us, we want to improve your life as a small business owner by offering you a proven way to control labor costs and increase customer satisfaction.  We do want and need to make money, but that’s only a part of the equation. We have a telephone timekeeping system that has been tested, tried and proven for 20 years to help companies in many industries who have remote workers.  Industries such as janitorial, security, construction, painting, landscaping, snowplowing, greenhouses, transportation and many more have simplified their business processes with our system.

Don’t settle for just a vendor.  We don’t.  Strive for a relationship.