Business Growth

The Subtle Difference Between Partners and Vendors

22nd March 2021

Business growth strategies are difficult to get right, especially in the early days when you’re never quite sure if you’re going to be launching a successful business or not. Having the support of investors and hitting the ground running in terms of early sales or subscriptions can be great, but growing at a sustainable pace is key.

Growth is important to every business owner and it’s key that you invest wisely in order to grow effectively. Many businesses will see significant, unpredicted growth in the early years because they’ve launched something new and innovative, but in time that growth starts to decline and level off leaving them wondering where to go next. When you grow the right way, however, with a solid strategy in place it can lead to an immensely successful business filled with happy employees and customers or subscribers who just love shouting about your brand and what you can offer.

Partners and vendors can make a monumental difference to the ways in which your company can grow, and the reputation you have in your industry. Not only can they help to increase your revenue by signing up to your service or buying your products, but they can also help you to grow in the sector as a whole by helping you to understand what’s working well for your business and where improvement is required to take it to the next level.

Here we’re going to explain just what partners and vendors are in business terms, as well as the very subtle but key differences between them, along with how you can incorporate them both into your sales strategy to reach that all-important growth target you have in mind.

What is a partner?

A partner works alongside you and your business, essentially as an extension of your team, in order to help you achieve a goal or objective. Partners are always available to provide expertise, knowledge and even resources in some cases in order to help you grow and offer something different to what your internal team can offer.

Many business partnerships are struck in order to develop ambitious businesses who want to reach the next level but may not – at this stage at least – have the experience and know-how to develop a strategy to get there. Rather than rushing out with a plan to try and grow faster than your business is ready for, a partner could be on-hand to assist you with advice having been there and done it themselves, or they may even be able to point you in the direction of their own employees who can assist you in person or over the phone to develop a new business pitch, to create a particular strategy or to help you decide whether or not to pursue a new opportunity.

How Meet Hugo works as a partner

At Meet Hugo we launched our own Partnership scheme – Partner With Meet Hugo – in November 2020 in order to offer something extra for our subscribers and connections in return for referrals to our platform.

We’re delighted to say that we’ve had great success in the early days and hand out commission on every new subscriber that is successfully referred by a Meet Hugo Partner. What this means is that the referrer gets an additional source of income – and who could say no to extra, free money – and we get new subscribers. Not only that, we offer all of our partners the benefit of our expertise in the fields of sales and marketing so that the leads we generate can be turned into genuine opportunities and client wins. This comes in the form of exclusive content such as eBooks and webinars which can be used anytime to inform a strategy.

What is a vendor?

On the other side you have a vendor, which is someone who offers a particular service or product. A lot of businesses will consider hiring people to do specific jobs because they think they might need to offer a particular service in the future, only to realise that their needs and business as a whole have changed, leaving that position redundant.

Instead of taking someone on for a few months, finding a vendor that can offer those specialist skills or services can make all the difference – then you can choose to hire someone internally in the future if you wish.

This could be to help you acquire more leads in order to grow your business or it could be someone who delivers a particular service, such as social media management on your behalf, so that you can focus on your in-house skills and capabilities while the expert vendor helps to develop another arm of your business without you having to invest in specialist, skilled staff at this stage in the proceedings.

How Meet Hugo works as a vendor

As a vendor Meet Hugo is here to offer sales intelligence and everything you need to know about tailored, qualified leads in your sector.

Rather than working on speculative new business calls and pitches, our in-house research team identifies tender opportunities, intelligence, job moves and buying signals in your sector and deliver each relevant opportunity – based on your specific needs and criteria including geographic location and  budget – to ensure that you are fully equipped with everything you need to reach out to relevant personnel and strike up a conversation that ultimately leads to a pitch and, hopefully, business through the door for you.

So what’s the difference between a partner and a vendor?

There isn’t a great deal of difference between a partner and a vendor and that is often why people get confused. There is a key, subtle difference and that is that a partner is a genuine business relationship that is formed through a working agreement, while a vendor offers a product or service that needs to be invested in.

To stick with our own example, Partner With Meet Hugo is a partnership scheme that works as a way of generating additional revenue and benefitting from our expertise in the sales and marketing sectors; while Meet Hugo as a company is a vendor offering intelligent lead generation as a subscription service delivering leads to your account each week.

Why your sales strategy will benefit from both

Any sales strategy that incorporates vendors and partners is onto a winner. Not only does it free up your own resources in order to focus on the pitch process and wowing your prospect, it means that you can learn from others which, as a growing business, will stand you in good stead for the years to come.

Sure, there will be some who will argue that hiring in-house new business teams will be more beneficial in the long run, but as a growing business looking to generate new business you don’t want to wait around for the right person to come along to then find those openings – you want to lean on a partner or vendor who can deliver these to you along with the vital expertise you need to strike up a conversation and earn yourself a place in the boardroom.

It may well be that you can develop an in-house new business team in the future, but even they can be incredibly busy working on leads and you don’t want to miss out on golden growth opportunities. By working with a vendor or partner who can equip you with contact details and information about the type of lead available you are armed with incredible intelligence that helps you steal a march over your competition, and you free up key personnel to do what they do best rather than spending time identifying opportunities.


Growth opportunities are everywhere, even in the toughest of markets and times. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to be in a position to capitalise on any and every opportunity that comes your way and working with an experienced partner and vendor can help you to do just that.

If you’d like to learn more about Partner With Meet Hugo, our new partnership scheme, then drop us a message and we’ll arrange a conversation with you. Alternatively, you can book a free demo to see just how Meet Hugo works and how we can deliver the best leads to you.

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