A good relationship with suppliers is essential in the travel agency business. Suppliers are one of the most important links in your travel business chain. Having a good and reliable supplier relationship in every destination you work at or for any services you provide is priceless.
Your life will become much easier if you know you have a supplier you can fully count on to deliver what your companies have agreed to. On the other hand, you need to put in the effort and meet all the contract conditions from your side. If both companies can do this, there is no problem, and you will have a long and prosperous supplier relationship.
However, small conflicts may sometimes arise between you and your suppliers, making successful cooperation more complex than needed. So here are some tips on how to improve your relationship with suppliers.
Meet In Person
Email communication with your suppliers is okay, especially in everyday business, but you must visit them in person. You will see that communication will be much better after meeting face-to-face. Some of your suppliers are located far away, and it is not easy to visit them, but you can always agree to meet at some tourism fair you attend.
Follow Your Suppliers Via Social Media
Nowadays, everybody is online, trying to get their piece of the social media networking cake and follow trends – so be supportive. Give your suppliers likes, follow their blogs, tweet about them, be a part of their circles, etc. They will surely appreciate this and share your content.
This does not mean to get intimate or get involved in the private lives of your suppliers. It means paying attention to personal data, information, events, and holidays. It is always nice to send a Christmas card, some convenient present for New Year, or a chocolate bunny for Easter. Of course, know who your suppliers are and whether they even celebrate these first!
Treat Your Suppliers Individually
Each of your suppliers is different the services they provide, location where they are situated, an annual turnover that you do together, etc. Regardless of the number of suppliers, and we all know that that number is large, you must approach every supplier relationship individually.
Promote Your Suppliers
If you can promote your suppliers, they will appreciate it very much. You can put them on your supplier list and mention them on your website with a direct link to their website. You can put them on your reference list, write a few nice words about a good relationship with suppliers, and point out some projects you did together. Be sure that they will also return the favor by promoting your company.
In conclusion, here are some ideas about what you will gain by maintaining a good relationship with suppliers:
- During price and contract negotiations you can get better prices, conditions and terms.
- Your supplier will respond better and faster in risk situations like hotel overbookings, flight cancelations, transfer delays, etc.
- Having a good relationship with your suppliers is a win-win situation for both sides. In the end, the result is a happy and satisfied client who will return and book the trip with you and your supplier.
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