10 Tips for a Successful Association/Vendor Relationship

As a former association executive, I was fortunate to implement successful projects over the years because of my working relationships with key vendors. These projects included outsourcing, adding member benefits, and streamlining operational functions to shift or decrease costs. Recently, I asked a few of the vendors, “If there was one behavior you wish your clients would exhibit, what would it be?” The following 10 tips are compiled from their insights and my experience as a chief operating officer:

  1. Identify your real needs early and ask for help
  2. Trust your relationship
  3. Prepare your team for the project
  4. Communicate: Be candid, direct, open, and honest
  5. Assign an internal project manager/champion to the project
  6. Respect the scope of work
  7. Give more weight to opportunities than to obstacles
  8. Streamline the decision-making process
  9. Hold the vendor accountable
  10. Acknowledge and thank the vendor

For a complete copy of the article that was written for ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, please visit the Resources: Tips & Big Ideas area on our website, TODAY!