What’s Good for You Is Good for Me
In any symbiotic business relationship, both parties have to feel like they are winners. Otherwise, there’s resentment and the working relationship is doomed to fail. If, for example, you are the client and looking for services from a vendor, you want to work with someone who has experience, expertise, and prides himself/herself on the work they provide. If you are a vendor, you want to offer your client superior work and service. You also want to get paid properly for the work you provide.
And that’s where the rub may lie. After several years of an economic downturn (and what some say is the worst recession since the Great Depression) and lost revenues in which people reduced their prices to get jobs, now many vendors find that clients see this is as the new normal. This breeds resentment and doesn’t bode well for a positive professional relationship. The vendor feels he or she is not getting paid adequately for his or her expertise and experience, making the relationship one-sided. But the client may also not get all that he or she expects as the price is so dramatically reduced.
The thing to do is during difficult times work with the client to provide services at decreased rates but when things improve, sit down and negotiate a fairer pricing structure. This happens on the employer-employee side many times. For example, during hard times a construction company decreased the salaries of all its workers, including management, by 25%. This was in lieu of lay-offs and firings. When the economy improved last year and business picked up the firm not only raised everyone’s salaries to previous levels but also gave the staff bonuses as a thank you for helping to keep the company afloat while jobs were scarce.
In the long run, it’s a win-win situation for all parties if they work together to achieve the goals of all those involved.