Brent Brown, the vice president of commercial sales for Spirit Commercial Fitness – USA, shares tips on choosing a vendor who cares about your success.
You should approach your buying experience with a vendor like an interview.
Ask them about how their product will make you more successful and your job easier. When the product breaks, malfunctions or stops being relevant to your business in the future, how will they handle this? Who are their other customers, and can you speak to one? There aren’t many questions that are off the table when seeking a long-term commitment.
Be sure to get a fair understanding of the different players for the product or service you are looking for. Never sign up with the first one you speak to. Instead, compare price and quality, and Google them to find online reviews from previous and current customers. Checking them out on the Better Business Bureau is also advisable. You’ll be glad you checked out their reputation, especially if you find a lot of negative reviews.
Ask about warranties and after-service. Are they impatient about your questions and trying to go for a quick close? The vendors who are willing to take as long as you need for you to feel comfortable are usually the vendors who are confident they can deliver the goods.
Ask how they handled their current clients during the pandemic. Did they continue to charge, defer payments, or build new programs to help cope with the new reality after COVID-19? What will they do for you if your business runs into a rough patch? A vendor that has a vested interest in you will be flexible and do what they need to in order to help you in a tough time. But are they willing to take the hit with you?
Having a lifelong relationship with a vendor is very possible and makes doing business easier every day. Take the time to know who you are really signing up with when choosing a vendor, and you’ll be stronger and happier in the long run.