Happy New Year!
Time for a new Mentoring topic. This month I will provide you with some basic tips on managing VENDOR RELATIONS.
- Keep a list of vendor information for those vendors that you call the most often, including customer service phone number and your account number..
- Have your account number handy whenever you call any vendor.
- Be sure to document your interactions – write down the name of the contact, the contact date, and what was said.
- When renewing a subscription, ask for the new expiration date.
- Be sure to ask for a receipt, especially if you are ordering over the phone and charging a credit card.
- At all times, conduct business in a professional manner and always be courteous with vendors.
- Be very clear about what you want and make sure you get all your questions answered before you hang up.
- Be persistent – you may have to make multiple calls to get all the information you need.
- Ask for possible discounts, labels for free shipping of returned items, free replacement materials, etc.
- If you are having a problem resolving an issue, be sure to document your phone contacts and retain all e-mails.
- If you are getting frustrated dealing with your current representative, speak with that person’s manager and/or ask to have a new representative assigned.
- Be polite yet firm during unsolicited calls from vendors – you don’t need to renew an invoice or to agree to a meeting on the spot – remember, they called you.
- If you order materials or renew subscriptions online, be sure to print out your order information and/or your receipt and/or your order number.
- Make sure you don’t press the BUY button more than once when ordering online.
- If you are having problems with ordering online, be sure to call the vendor right away to straighten things out.
SLA Legal Division Mentoring Committee Chair