Business -- just like any other relationship -- should always be a Two-Way street...
It MUST be Win-Win!
This is quite an important point.
Suppliers can be a very big help to your business. But like all relationships, there must be a two way investment in the relationship.
Unfortunately there has been a lot of advice about how to "not trust" reps basically promoting a "dog-eat-dog" style relationship with Reps and suppliers.
This is a tremendous mistake!
Build solid foundations with your suppliers and they can become great assets for your business. Especially when and if you go through some hard times.
You need to work with and not against your suppliers.
It takes time to build the trust, but it pay handsome dividends down the track.
Take your suppliers out for lunch, send them "thank-you" cards, give your rep a present for no reason at all or at least to say thank you for a favour. If you do these things, your Business will reap the benefits.
If all you want is to get as much as you can from your suppliers and reps...
Expect them to do the same to you!
Yes, suppliers have to sell themselves to you.
But this is a two way street...
You also need to sell yourself to your suppliers.
If you want the best...
You need to be the best!
Remember the Golden Rule of Life and business:
You MUST GIVE - Before You Get!
Business should always be a two way street - It MUST be WIN-WIN.