Much is written about first impressions. Little is shared about subsequent impressions, especially when things don’t go well the first time.
I own and operate a branded merchandise company, so I put customer’s brands on virtually every type of promotional product. I don’t own production equipment, so I rely on a supply chain of independent manufacturers to supply the products I sell.
Every one of my relationships with my most important suppliers started because of favorable first impressions – and grew due to a rocky subsequent interaction. It didn’t matter whether they missed a delivery date or the quality was poor, or whose fault it was. What did matter was we worked together to figure it out, and this led to a stronger partnership built on dependability and accountability.
Other suppliers, in the same situations, chose a different path. They chose not to find a mutually agreeable solution. That’s fine; they’re no longer one of my suppliers. How do you choose your business partners?