What It Takes To Be A Powerful Partner
“Partner” may be the most potent word in the English language. One person may be able to accomplish quite a bit, but he or she is still just one person. Add a second person—a partner who shares the same goals—and the strength of that force doubles. Whether you call this person a partner, collaborator, comrade or colleague, he or she takes on an active role, especially in business, and shares in the risk of a venture and also in the outcome and success. Together, strong partners can make for a heady combination.
This month, PPB showcases six individuals who have so strongly succeeded with that critical partner connection that they were nominated and selected as some of the best examples of how suppliers, distributors, business services companies and consultants can work together as powerful partners.
What do these six do (or not do) that makes their partnerships so valuable? Turn the page to hear it directly from this year’s standouts and their nominators.
Strategic Account Manager
Nominator and distributor partner: Linda Jones, MAS, partnership assurance manager, Geiger
A 10-year veteran of supplier alphabroder, Jonathan Beyer has spent the past three years in the customer-centric role of strategic account manager. His ability to cultivate relationships and grow the business of alphabroder’s customers have made him a well-respected leader in the industry.
Linda Jones, MAS, partnership assurance manager at distributor Geiger, has relied on Beyer’s expertise for a number of years and singled him out for recognition because of three key qualities he brings to the relationship. “He’s very quick with responses, helps with projects from start to finish and always sends other suggestions when an item is out of stock,” says Jones. “He also provides ideas, keeps an eye on the order and follows up after the order has shipped.” She points to a recent example. “When we asked Jon for ideas and pricing on a 10,000-piece order, he provided lots of details and at least five different item suggestions, plus pricing, production time, full descriptions of the items, free samples and virtuals. He thought of everything,” she says. “We got the order and everything ran smoothly. Jon is great! Love working with him!”
Jonathan Beyer On Partnerships
What are the most important qualities in a good business partner?
Trust. Honesty. Humor. My partners know that they can trust me to access every resource alphabroder has available to achieve their goals. I am always honest about how I can help, what we can do and how we can do it. And, just as importantly, I try to connect in a humorous way. A bit of humor can go a long way.
One of the keys to success is great communication. Good business partners work together to find out-of-the-box strategies. By asking the right questions and having all of the necessary information, you are able to present solutions that work.
What do you do that sets you apart from others in the way you work with clients?
As a supplier, I listen to my clients and work with them to fill their needs. Having access to alphabroder’s complete assortment of promotional apparel products and our full array of value-added tools makes us stand out in a crowd and is unlike anything in the industry. Our goal is to make sure we can satisfy the customer’s needs in a timely manner to facilitate growth.
I always make a keen effort to listen. As a supplier, it’s important to hear what my clients have to say. I’m always striving to build lasting relationships and find creative solutions that work. Basically, my number one goal is to help my partners grow their businesses. It’s a win-win.
Is there something your client does that makes it easy for you to provide exemplary service?
Linda is great at supplying all of the information needed to complete a project. She is always available to answer questions and discuss all options that might be available. We are able to work together and come up with the solutions needed. We are both there for each other and use each other as a resource.
What advice do you have for others who want to achieve a true partnership with their clients?
Contact, communication and follow-up. Make sure you reach out to your partners, find out their needs and follow up in a timely manner. Become their “rock”—that reliable resource they can count on to help them succeed.