There are suppliers, there are customers, and there are partners.
Suppliers see you as a customer. Customers see you as a supplier. Whilst success in each of these relationships might be founded on trust, it’s constructed on the back of transactional exchanges. When times are tough, when the transactions stop, the best you can wish for is to see each other on the other side.
Partners are different. Partners make life better for each other. When times are tough, partners work through the issues, for better or worse. The least you should expect is an understanding hearing and an offer of support.
The point is to know who you are and who you’re dealing with. Are you a partner? Are they? Do you only care about the transaction? Do they?
Skippy strategy: Choose your partners for their willingness to partner. Don’t kid each other if it’s nothing more than that.
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