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My Vendor Is Costing Me My Business

During an online marketing consultation session I pointed out to a client that she was overpaying for her vendors’ services; services her vendor wasn’t even close to fulfilling.

“But I’ve been with him for years,” she said, after I explained her current vendor was costing her thousands.

Even after I presented her with new options of superior services, for a lesser amount, this client is still sticking with her current vendor.

Why do people hold on to non-performing vendors?

In the beginning vendors promise the world. And when they don’t perform, people hold onto hope. Or people have invested heavily into services and their ego will not let them admit they made a bad decision (even if correcting it would save them from going out of business).

At times its family and friends that we call on for services: leaving us feeling bound by the relationship.

Lastly, a fee to get out of a contract may seem too high although not cutting loose often has the hidden cost of lost business.

Online Marketing Vendors

Most commonly today, online marketing vendors are taking advantage of the new marketplace with unjustifiable fees and long term contracts.

The online world is complex and ever changing, leaving business owners with not enough time in the day to catch up. This leaves the perfect gap for bad vendors to take advantage.

You want to gain exposure for your business or brand so you make a few calls and get yourself a website and an online marketing vendor. They toss around technical terms and tell you that you need to optimize your website, begin pay per click ads, and throw in terms like meta tags and key word searches… and now you’re hooked. They made you feel out of the loop and have created a hero-like sentiment around their services.

Due to the ambiguity of the online world, many online vendors are taking advantage. Therefore, it is important to realize when your online vendors are not performing.

If you are paying monthly fees for online marketing and you are not seeing a high customer increase then you need to have a discussion with your vendor. I always ask my online marketing clients to answer the following questions about their current vendors.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I paying a high monthly rate for website maintenance?
  • What does that maintenance entail?
  • Am I paying for ads that are not bringing me customers?
  • Is my website up to date with the current optimization standards/trends?
  • Can my vendor explain to me clearly what they are doing or are they hiding behind vague terms?
  • Does my vendor offer fresh concepts and ideas?
  • Is my vendor difficult to get in touch with?

If answering those questions brought more questions to your mind then it’s time to have an open and frank discussion with your website and online marketing vendor.

Realizing you have an underwhelming vendor relationship is the most important first step.

This happens to everyone at some point; however you must not be afraid to seek new partnerships.

Helpful hints to avoid a bad vendor is to really vette suppliers ahead of time with third party sites, numerous referrals and to ask for case studies for proof of visible results.

It’s important to remember that sticking with a bad vendor, especially an online marketing vendor, is a sure way to stint the growth of your business.

Read more posts by Thomas La Vecchia, sales expert. Thomas blogs for JenningsWire.