call us 1-866-665-1605

Repair Shop Advice

The Difference Between a Vendor and a Partner

February 28, 2019

In the business world, everyone wants you to think of them as a partner, not a vendor.  Companies use the word as a marketing tool, as if calling themselves a ‘partner’ will make you willing to pay more for their services.

In reality, there aren’t many companies out there that qualify as partners.  In fact, even most businesses that call themselves partners don’t really want to partner with you.

Whether a company qualifies as a partner or not isn’t just about whether you trust them.  It’s about whether they trust you.  Partners share risk – and when things don’t work out, they share in the losses.  Partners aren’t motivated by the value of their first transaction with you – they know they’re going to lose money on that.  They’re much more interested in making sure that you’ll see value in them over the long term, so they have a chance to make back the money they lose by investing in the relationship up front.

If a vendor offers you a discount in exchange for signing a contract, they’re just a vendor.  If a vendor tells you about how they’re going to invest in the relationship so that you can both make more money, they’re at least talking the language of a partner.  But it’s only when they follow through on that commitment, that they’ve earned the right to be judged on more than their speed, or their price of their last transaction.

So the next time a company tells you they want to be your partner, ask them what they invest in shops like yours to help you be more successful.  Ask them what they need from you, to help make the partnership more successful.  If the response is all about how much money changes hands, that “partnership” probably isn’t worth your time.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites helps shops across the United States get better marketing results, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at