Have you ever hired a vendor or supplier and felt like you made a HUGE mistake? Even though you did your due diligence, everything went “south” and you were left scratching your head wondering “how did that happen?”
Last year I made a series of vendor selections that ended up in a lot of wasted time, money and disappointments. As a sole proprietor, the loss goes right to the bottom line. And then, like many people, I start second-guessing myself.
When vendors over-promised and under-delivered, it’s extremely frustrating especially when we think we’ve been a good communicator and collaborator. And for me, I naturally felt compelled to stay out of B.E.D. (Blame, Excuses and Denial.)
I wondered how this could be happening to me?
Several colleagues actually asked the same question. Why was I getting sub-par work, despite doing my due diligence when vetting them, clearly stating expectations, providing timely feedback and paying on time? It was very perplexing and annoying… and expensive!
3 Steps to Turning Things Around
So, at that point, I thought about what I would say to a client if they posed the same scenario to me and wanted advice.
Then took my own advice.
First, stop laboring over who did what wrong – put it in the past and stop obsessing over it. I was so focused on all the bad things that were happening. Their “transgressions” dominated my thoughts and that had to stop. Remember, if you hold a thought for 17 seconds or more, you’ll continue to experience more of whatever is on that vibrational frequency. And I had months of obsessing! How often have you done the same thing?
Second, start fresh by being clear about what I wanted – not what I didn’t want. Are you clear about what you want?
Third, I ended the projects with the existing vendors and paid them what was due for work that had been completed. This is about creating closure.
Creating Intentions for Altering Outcomes
Then I created “intentions” of the qualities and characteristics of the people who I wanted to work with and guess what happened? Things turned around in the direction I wanted fairly quickly.
Here is part of what I wrote for my “intention”:
“I attract people who have the knowledge, skills, abilities and resources, to take me, and my business, to the highest level possible. ”
In addition, I wanted to attract people who liked working on my projects. I want to work with people who found the projects interesting and fulfilling and were able to use their skills and abilities in new ways that were enjoyable for them. I wanted the people who helped me reach my goals to feel good about using their skills on my project and to have fun doing it!
After creating this intention, I started working with the most amazing people. The website designer created exactly what I wanted, with no drama or angst. A videographer, the book editor, and the kitchen remodeler too. Even the cabinet maker told me how much he enjoyed working on my cabinets because the project allowed him to use his creativity and expand his skills.
State Goals, Set Parameters, Collaborate and Praise
When people know the goals and parameters, there can be great collaboration and enjoyment. After all, people want to not only do a good job, they want to feel valued and like their skills are valued too.
So if you find your vendors view you and your projects as just another source of income, step back and ask yourself if this is OK. Sometimes it is. But if you are investing in your brand, your product design or implementation or anything that is important to you, then reconsider if they are the right vendor for you.
When you work collaboratively with your vendors and suppliers and express appreciation for their services, they are more likely to make exceptions for you, speed up delivery times, or add extra benefits. It may sound like common sense, but this is relationship building 101.
And quite frankly, I don’t want to work with people who view me as an invoice. Do you?
Marty Stanley is a national speaker, executive coach and consultant who helps people plan, lead and implement organization change. Call Marty today if you’re procrastinating on a project or issue because you don’t want to deal with change. She can help you navigate the process and see hope for the future. 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org