Sklar Technology Partners - March 2020

MARCH 2020

7462 Old Hickory Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 • www.sklartechnology.com • 804-730-2628

PLAYING FAVORITES

How to Be Your Vendors’ Favorite Client

WHY AREN’T YOU THE FAVORITE? Being a vendor’s favorite client isn’t just about taking them to lunch or letting them use your cabin for the weekend — though I do recommend doing both of these things. Most of the time, your favorite client is the one whose mutual benefits you enjoy in your relationship. That’s why I’ve invited two of my favorite vendors to talk about what makes a client their favorite. Garrett Whitmore – TEKsystems “TEKsystems is the leading service in the country for providing IT staffing. I’ve been with the company for about seven years now.The relationship with our clients mostly revolves around consulting them about their industry and their local area.The best relationships with my clients are true business-to-business partnerships. Vendors are often treated like glorified delivery people. That’s not a healthy relationship; there has to be a mutual benefit to both partners.When expectations are set up by both parties right from the start, it makes the relationship much stronger down the line.” Justin Barden – Comcast “After 20 years with Comcast, I’ve found myself with the title of Comcast Senior Business Concierge. My position calls on me to be committed to providing both our clients and our vendors with a high level of service. In my experience, I’ve found that as long as we are doing the right things for the right reasons, and if we are truly putting the end user first every single time —whether that end user is our client or our vendor’s client — our relationships strengthen by default. “I met Randy in late 2015. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t even my meeting. I was new in Virginia and tagged along to that meeting with a coworker. Randy and I hit it off, and I ended up following up with

Here’s the scene: It’s the middle of the work week and your phone is ringing. For a moment, you think that you’re about to make a sale.Then you look at who’s calling and your stomach sinks. It’s them. Everyone who has ever worked in business has their “them.” It’s your least favorite client, the one who only ever calls to lodge complaints, make demands, and haggle the already low cost they’ve been given. These kinds of clients are almost always more trouble than they’re worth. I never want the vendors I work with to see my name on their phones and get that pit in their stomachs.As I’ve said in the past, I want to be a unicorn company. To many of the vendors I work with, I’m their ideal customer. But for me, it’s not enough to be an ideal customer. I want to be their favorite customer. Being the preferred customer means my vendors and I get exactly what we need and more. THE PERKS OF FAVORITISM I am not my vendors’ only client — far from it.The vendors I work with have a lot of clients, and many of their other clients need the same things I need. For example, a few years ago, I needed to hire four new engineers. It’s hard enough to find one highly qualified engineer, but four? That’s nearly impossible! With advice from my mastermind group, I went to a headhunting agency and asked them to find some good people to hire. I wasn’t the only IT company that needed good people. Plenty of other folks needed good candidates. And, of course, I wanted the first pick of the best candidates, so I turned myself into their favorite client. I was able to get on their good side, and in turn, I got four amazing engineers who helped get our business to the next level.

Randy myself.When I got an opportunity to help one of his clients, I hit it out of the park. I did right by them, and that’s what our relationship is built on. When allowed to help Randy’s clients, I deliver. When I deliver on the things I promise, those clients associate my excellent work with Sklar Technology Partners. In turn, when Randy has the opportunity to include me in a conversation with his clients, he does. It’s a win-win for everybody. “We both know the other person is dedicated to taking care of the end user. In my opinion, it’s important that all vendors deliver at a high level and come through on their promises. Otherwise, it discounts the overall benefits of working with vendors.” A REAL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP It’s more than a vendor relationship.These guys are advisors and extensions of my business. My relationships with them allow my business to thrive, and I make a point to let them know how grateful I am for our relationship. And because I know I’m my vendors’ favorite client, I don’t have to worry about the service or advice they’re giving me. I know they have my back. By now, you should be asking yourself, “Am I my vendors’ favorite client?” If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, then the real question is this:Why not?

–Randy Sklar

A REFERRAL IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY. WHEN A CLIENT REFERS FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES TO US, IT REPRESENTS AN APPRECIATION OF A JOB WELL DONE. IF YOUR FRIENDS OR ASSOCIATES COULD BENEFIT FROM OUR SERVICES, I’D BE HONORED TO HAVE YOUR REFERRAL!

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