Why partnering with suppliers is more lucrative than going ad hoc

Imagine this. You have finally managed to get that top client in for a site visit. You know for a fact that they are looking for the perfect venue for their annual conference. The budget is big and so are your targets. This meeting could change the course of the year. The clients have insisted you recommend a company that can come up with innovative team building activities. You contacted that guy you met at a tradeshow a few months ago. You’ve never worked with him but if you remember well, he was quite nice and chatty… What could possibly go wrong?

Well. Dave, the team building guy turns up late. He’s nice enough but his idea of innovative is a treasure hunt in the local car park… He hasn’t checked his diary so cannot confirm his availability on the requested dates. His rough prices seem outrageous and overall, he doesn’t seem too keen on this piece of business. Your client looks more and more unimpressed – you’re having a nightmare!

Why take that risk?  

The key is to remember that things don’t need to be entirely disastrous for you to lose the business, there is a lot of competition out there and you might just miss out on a deal for failing to convince on what appear to you as details.

Successful events depend on the effective delivery of an infinity of moving parts. This is what makes them exciting but also very challenging. The event planner’s ability to build relationships and collaborate with all stakeholders will be key in ensuring that all parties get the desired outcome.

The first important factor to running a smooth operation is good internal communication. Depending on the size and complexity of the event, the planner will be needing the support of a number of other departments, from front office to Operations, housekeeping, the kitchen etc…

They will of course have to build rapport with their client and ensure they understand what the objectives are and how success will be defined.

Finally, one relationship that cannot be left to chance is the one with external suppliers.

There is undeniable value in working with preferred suppliers that have been vetted and assessed based on their reliability, reputation but also their compatibility to working with your team as well as their products and ethics. Of course, client satisfaction is always the ultimate goal and should be at the centre of all discussions but really all parties will benefit from a well thought out partnership.

Here are a few ways partnering with suppliers can positively impact your business:

  • Your partner will be the expert in their field, they will be able to share important specialist knowledge, empowering you and your team to sell and upsell the best options/packages and find the optimum solution for your clients.
  • They will support you in the sales process and help you convert by attending appointments and site visits with you.
  • Together, you will not only have combined experience but also a shared pool of contacts: they will pass business on to you and because they understand what works in your space and your strategy, all enquiries will be pre-qualified.
  • They are more likely to make themselves available to chat through proposals, answer urgent questions or even take part in your new starters induction programme.
  • You can simplify the booking process for your clients by merging proposals and invoicing services all together.
  • More generally, a feeling of trust and a team that works well together will always score big with your prospective clients. They will be reassured by the fact that the venue can support with the relationship, the pace of responses, etc if needed.

Put simply, choosing the right partners will help boost your reputation – they will support your team’s sales effort, will make you look good in front of your clients and potentially open up new avenues.

To fully benefit from partnering with suppliers, it is advisable to have a process in place for the selection of the suppliers so they are assessed fairly and consistently. Once the agreement is in place, make sure you communicate regularly, clearly and honestly so you know that your goals and values are in alignment with those of your new partner.

Now off you go, have fun building relationships, selling with confidence and delivering exceptional events! I’ll leave you with this quote:

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa


Written by Delphine Delacroix, Dynamic Conferences and Events



Do you want to learn more about how to grow your business through successful collaboration? Check out our one-to-one mentoring options here!

Categories: Sales Strategies