You are more likely to get fair pricing and great customer service when you have a relationship with the person who’s doing the selling. If a person knows, likes, and respects you, they’re more willing to put effort into working with you. This human element makes developing relationships with your suppliers rewarding, both personally and financially.
It never hurts to be on good terms with the sales team, and they can have a lot of knowledge of the nuances of their products you might not otherwise get a chance to know (maybe until it’s too late). In the unfortunate case of a problem, such as your pipette tips not fitting the pipette, having a good relationship can often set you up to get improved customer service.
3 Recommendations for Developing Relationships with Suppliers
- Contact them when you have questions (preferably on Twitter). Don’t ignore a problem or make assumptions about their products. Many suppliers are happy to help.
- Be consistent. Bouncing around from supplier to supplier isn’t a good idea. Think about friendships…are your most loyal friends the newest ones or the ones who have been around for a decade?
- When they do something nice, say “Thank you.” Appreciation is always appreciated.