You know you need some help with marketing, but you’re not sure exactly what you need help with or what the process is.  You get started by making calls to various ad agencies and finding out about their services and perhaps setting up some meetings.  You’re screening out what you don’t want as well as honing in on what you do.  What will you be looking for in a marketing or multimedia company?  Well, probably, like anyone you want to spend time with – either personally or professionally – you’ll want them to have certain traits. 

What to Look for in a Vendor

Ideally, they should be:

  • Dependable and reliable.  DISCREET.

When you have hired them for a job, you want to know it’ll get done to the standards you’ve both agreed to. Plus, you want to be assured the details of your plan are tailored to you and won’t be shared with the next client who comes in the door.

  • Completes projects in a timely manner

Particularly if you’re working to a quick deadline, you want to be certain that your project gets done on time with a little room to spare for any needed revisions.

  • Transparent services and pricing

You’ll want to know upfront what the exact services are that you’re paying for, as well as what the costs will be for those services.

  • Someone you actually enjoy speaking to

You don’t have to become lifelong pals, but having positive interactions that don’t even feel like work can turn vendors to “friendors” 🙂

  • Someone willing to make some revisions to work to meet your expectations

In the case where you’re not happy with the results, interacting with someone who doesn’t take it personally and works- within reason- to make changes at the originally determined price, will make you feel more relaxed.

  • People with a vision to carry your marketing to the desired goal: SALES

You might be providing a lot of direction for the marketing campaign, or you might be relying on the company to have that vision for you.  Either way, there should be clear cut results in the form of revenue for you.

Relationships Are a Two-Way Street

The best relationships in any arena are ones that are mutually beneficial: neither side is taking advantage of the other, and each feels respected and honored, is thoughtful and considerate, and is not taking the relationship lightly.  So, keep in mind, while you are screening them, here’s an inside look at how they’re screening you:

  • Is this person worth a serious investment of time?

Of the many projects I could be working on, is this something I want to devote my time to?  Is this person really sincere in wanting to hire me?  Do I have the time to dedicate to them right now with the other bids and projects I am working on?  

  • Will I write a proposal of detailed services only to have them choose a different vendor to implement my ideas?  (Have they only requested a bid because they’re following a “get three quotes” rule?)

Hey, this does happen and, when it does, it doesn’t feel good.  In an information age, sometimes ideas and plans can be undervalued.  You can look up anything you want on the internet, but wisdom and experience do come with a price.  And while we certainly understand you want to get the best deal possible, sometimes when agencies compete, you don’t win.  Preparing proposals is a time-consuming and in-depth process that must be allocated only to serious parties after a detailed discussion. 

  • Will this person pay promptly upon receipt of an invoice?

Like you, we have bills to pay and people to feed.  Do we want to complete a project and have a delay in payment or have to ask more than once for it?  No.  As a fully-functioning operation with staff and sometimes multiple people working on a project, anything less than prompt payment is unacceptable.  After all, you don’t finish a meal at a restaurant and then say, “Well, I’ll pay you in the next week or two.” 😉  We also have to ask: will changes to the agreed-upon service be honored with a change to the agreed-upon price?  While a client’s satisfaction is important, endless changes to products cannot be made.

  • Do they have healthy boundaries regarding business vs. personal time?

While we do want you to feel as though you are our only client, very few businesses could thrive on only serving one customer.  We love to do business with great people, but there are times when we are working on another project or spending time with our families after work.  Good boundaries are good for everyone.

  • Will I actually enjoy helping this person?

Work is work, but we know we have a lot to offer, and being more selective means we, too, would like to feel like the people we provide services to are really appreciating what we do.  Financial reward is vital, but emotional reward motivates us as well.

Are We Compatible?

Good business relationships take the same time, cooperation, and skills that all other relationships take.  For the best outcome and the potential for future work together, each side will be assessing whether they are being treated well.  When we at ErieMultimedia sign a contract with someone- whether that is an individual or a large corporation- we want to feel and act as though we are part of the team.  We want to understand you and how your business works to build the best possible working relationship.  If you find yourself understanding our expectations and standards because you share them, give us a call because we should be working together.