Managing vendor relationships can be a tricky endeavor, and it is important to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the connection. One effective practice that can create and build relationships with vendors is curiosity.
How your curiosity can build great vendor relationships
First, a simple definition: curiosity is ''having a strong desire to know or learn something.'' There’s no obligation involved; it’s about voluntary learning, exploration, and uncovering new ideas.
In the world of procurement, curiosity can play a key role in building relationships with vendors and bringing real value. Here are some ways buyers can use curiosity to build long-lasting, mutually beneficial vendor relationships.
1. Ask the right questions
The first step in using curiosity is to ask questions and get answers for a clearer perspective. Get to know the vendor’s needs, goals, priorities, and any other knowledge that can help build an understanding of what their business does and how the relationship will work. Ask open-ended questions about their current operations, process improvements they have made recently or plan on making soon, and any challenges they face.
This kind of effort allows for a better understanding of the vendor’s problem set so you can offer solutions that add value to their operations. After all, the best conversations lead to a win/win outcome for both parties!
2. Know what your vendor knows
Being curious means staying updated on trends and best practices related to the field or industry your vendor operates in. Doing research on the latest technology and industry advancements allows you to bring valuable ideas and insights to the meeting when it comes time for negotiation. It also ensures that you have the right perspective or sense about the product you’re buying, what your needs are, and what options are available.
By being aware of new things in their area, you are able to explore and gain an edge in the negotiation world while also displaying your expertise in their field.
3. Show genuine interest
Showing genuine interest in your vendor's projects and initiatives will help create a productive environment where both parties feel respected and heard. Listening is very important in a conversation like this. Demonstrating an eagerness to explore more about them gives vendors assurance that they have found a solid buyer that is worth the investment of time and resources.
You want your vendors to show genuine interest and respect for your business and your needs, so do the same and make them feel appreciated in the conversation.
4. Be flexible
Having an open mind when approaching potential solutions helps foster business growth and more efficient collaboration between both parties as well as creative problem-solving capabilities. By looking at problems from different perspectives, you can come up with innovative solutions that could benefit both sides of the agreement.
When dealing with challenging times during negotiations, maintaining a curious mindset in the meeting helps keep discussions constructive rather than combative or heated, leading to better outcomes for everyone involved in the process. Remember, listening is key to making things work.
Utilizing curiosity in SaaS vendor relationships
Using curiosity when working with vendors can build trust, encourage better communication between partners, and lead to long-term success for all involved parties. It is essential that companies make use of this powerful practice if they want to gain an advantage over the competition while forming beneficial partnerships with vendors at the same time.
When considering SaaS buying relationships specifically, it’s easy to see how this can quickly get difficult. Sastrify research shows that companies use an average of 96 SaaS tools – and do they have the resources to manage 96 vendor relationships?
Most businesses don’t have the procurement ability, knowledge, or headcount to build these mutually beneficial vendor relationships and maintain them over time.
With us, they don’t have to. Services like Sastrify have the ability to bridge relationships and make their lives a lot easier. Our dedicated SaaS procurement experts deliver results, taking care of your software licenses and contract negotiations so each member of your team can focus on their job and what they're selling.
And because we do this for all our customers, we already have built meaningful relationships with your SaaS vendors. Working with Sastrify allows you to cultivate vendor relationships to save time, centralize and automate your entire SaaS stack, and ultimately eliminate up to 35% of your software and cloud costs. Find out how much you could save here.