I hope those of you with kids enjoy trick-or-treating this weekend! For those of you without little ones in costume, I hope you’re being as generous as possible to the families who may be celebrating for the first time in two years! The Sickmeyer boys will be out terrorizing the neighborhood as Bowser and a Dinosaur, unless my three-year-old changes his mind again.

The kids ringing your doorbell aren’t the only ones that deserve a pleasant surprise this quarter. Marketing leaders would be well-served to take good care of their vendors- it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also profitable to your bottom line. Most of us rely on external partners to help our businesses run. All of you utilize SaaS tools from companies large and small, and many of you tap into agencies and freelancers for support as well. While Fidelitas strives to be a Strategic Partner, not a vendor, the relationship we demand from clients and our team is actually one that most marketing leaders and their partners should strive for. Here’s what that looks like and how you can use our approach to get more out of your vendors:

It starts with radical candor. It’s critical for marketing leaders to be candid with their partners around expectations- fair or not. Sugarcoating a situation won’t make it any better. All parties need to know what success looks like so that they can work together for the common goal. If someone on either side screws the pooch or is going to miss a deadline, the sooner it’s owned and acknowledged the sooner everyone can move on (hopefully together) from it. If finances are tight, let your partners know. If your job’s on the line, let your partners know. If they’re truly partners with you, they serve that way for a reason and will do whatever they can to help you out.

This shouldn’t have to be said, but pay your people on time- or even better, early. I’ve noticed a trickle-down effect spanning across a variety of industries where everyone is paying everyone late. If you can figure out who the person is at the top of the payments chain holding everyone up, let me know! But seriously- paying your people as early as possible always goes a long way. I’ve watched firsthand as Fidelitas has been moved to the top of the priority list with vendors as we pay them early. I don’t care if the terms are net 30 or net 90, if you can pay them within two weeks, it’s only going to help your relationship. No one ever complained about getting paid early and in the case of many freelancers that are hand-to-mouth, it can be a huge blessing!

Public praise does wonders. Just as your internal employees love receiving public praise, your vendors and partners do, too! It’s always great when a client calls out Fidelitas by name, but when they call the specific people on our team crushing it for them, it has an incredible impact on team morale and makes the occasional late nights and long hours more palatable. When possible, take it a step further and celebrate your wins- hitting sales goals, expansions, promotions, acquisitions, anything- together! Celebrating wins keeps your teammates- internal and external- hungry for the next one.

What are you doing to strengthen your vendor relationships? Drop us a line and let us know!