Finding good vendors who provide professional services may have a lot in common with finding good restaurants. There may be an abundance of them, while the best ones remain difficult to find.
A long line does not mean quality food
Some restaurants have a long line because they have slow service. If that’s because you’re getting quality personalized service, great. But if it’s because of incompetence and general disorganization or because they can’t keep quality help, that’s another story.
Hype and marketing can bring a lot of customers to a new restaurant. Sometimes it’s a celebrity chef or architect. If that’s what you’re after then you may be at the right place. If you’re looking for the best home cooked meal, you may have to keep looking.
Convenience and location can also bring long lines. Finding a restaurant on the main street or square is usually not the one with the best food.
A better way to find quality
Take a look at how long the restaurant has been around. A service provider who has been in business for a long time has obviously been successful at acquiring customers, solving their problems, and charging a fee that matches both their needs and those of their customers.
Check the testimonials of your provider. If their website doesn’t list some, ask for one or two customers that they’ve worked with recently.
Pay attention to service. If you are a small fish for your vendor, it’s likely that service will be affected. If you on the other hand are one of your vendors bigger clients, they’ll likely give much more attention to you. Notice how regular customers at a restaurant or lounge tend to get the best service.
Book Review: The Power of Pull by Hagel, Brown & Davison
A lot of really influential people like this book. Joichi Ito, Richard Florida and Eric Schmidt to name a few. Enterprises are faced with a bewildering array of challenges from finding good people, to retaining them, and putting them to work in the most creative ways. This book brings another new and welcome perspective on the future of building and growing successful organizations.