Partner? Nope. Vendor!

One word that seems to have been banished from business is “vendor.” It has been replaced by the kinder, everybody-gets-a-medal term “partner.”

I hear this all the time in pitches to my clients. “We want to partner with you to help you unlock value in your business.” “As your partner, we’ll help you create amazing product experiences for your customers.” “We’ll partner with you to…”

What a bunch of nonsense. They want to make money, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But please, don’t fall for the “partner” schtick. They know it’s harder to fire a “partner” than to get rid of a vendor. And you tend not to look as closely at the faults of your partner (think of your significant other, true business partner, etc.)  And that’s the psychology of getting you to use the term “partner” to describe what is in reality a vendor relationship.

Takeaway: Unless your “partner” is only working on a percentage of the incremental value they create for you, they’re not. They’re a vendor. And that’s ok.

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