When looking for a company to do business with you have to get past the marketing and the wow factor that they have put into capturing your attention and/or business and dig deeper.
A few years back I had worked with a company that was looking for a change. They had been whewed by the company they hired and a whole bunch of whoop-la. Not only did they find this company’s marketing catchy, but they found their prices to be to good to pass up.
It wasn’t until 3-4 months later, they realized this company was only doing the bare minimum of what their contract stated so they did not stay in breech, their customer service was almost non-existent, and they begin to get nickel and dimed for additional services and fees that were not all disclosed or discussed fully in the initial consultation.
Everyone knows the saying to “never trust a skinny cook”, but in most businesses the idea that a mechanic drives a beat up car, an IT tech works on a buggy computer, or a maid had a dirty house all tend to have the same examples of hard working professionals that don’t have their own things in order because they are too busy providing a great service for others.
Now, just to be clear, I am not saying you should always trust a fat cook or not trust a mechanic that drives a Porsche, however, there is always more than meets the eye when it comes to choosing a business to work with. Make sure that the companies you choose to work with are a value added and that you are being provided with more than just a service. Each company you choose to do business with and build a relationship should provide you a few things: Great Value, Outstanding Communications, Amazing Customer Service, Invaluable Resources, and most importantly the Ability to Help you Grow and Succeed as Your Own Business.
Great Value – Does the quality of products/services match the price. Don’t just look at pricing when evaluating quotes and proposals, pricing can easily be manipulated to look appealing but hidden cost or additional products/services could be left out to make the initial offer more enticing. So always compare apples to apples not apples to oranges.
Outstanding Communications – This goes beyond customer service. Most companies will answer every time you call to close the sell but afterwards they are no where to be found. What form of communication do they offer? Phone, Email, Text, Skype, etc. Do they have a point of contact for you or someone dedicated to your account? Can you reach someone 24/7 or is there a hotline for after hours? In this ever changing world, things are becoming more and more fast pace; it is important to have work with a business that can keep.
Amazing Customer Service – This kind of goes without saying, however, a good look into a companies policies are a great place to start. Also, some companies have a more lenient policy that even though their terms and conditions may look strict, there can be exceptions and waivers. Companies these days have to document everything so customers, employees, lawyers, etc. don’t take advantage of them, but case by case exceptions will really show you how much a company wants your business and how much they care about your overall success rate and repeat business relationship.
Invaluable Resources – Well this one might be a “duh” bullet point, but I’m not talking about general resources that a company has in which was the reason behind you working with them; I’m talking about the things you can’t do on your own and how they do it. Is the product you are buying or the service have certain warranties or advantages that will help ensure your business is successful. Be sure to review these resources when choosing a company to do business with.
Ability to Help you Grow and Succeed as Your Own Business – This is a big one, when I am looking for business to work with, I am looking at them almost at the partnership level. B2B networking and deals can be extremely helpful or extremely hurtful to the overall goals of your company. Ask yourself, “if I were to partner with this company, will my company be better because of it, will this add or subtract my current work load, can I trust this company?” If the answer to all 3 is yes, than that just might be a company that is a resource and not just a billboard.