There’s an old joke that has a lot of meaning to me. “Success is relative. The more success, the more relatives.” When you’re flying high, everyone wants to be around you. The same can be said for many vendors. At one time, as the head of several different companies that had enormous buying power, our vendors would drop everything if I or one of our people had a request.
Fast forward to 2016. While I am still the head of two companies, our business model is more self-sustaining. And with my time focused on business coaching, my needs are far less than they used to be. I love my simpler life and my increased focus.
However, recently I needed some information from a long-term vendor. I sent him an e-mail. I got no response. I called his office and left him a voice mail. With still no call back, I called his cell phone. And, as of this writing, I am still waiting. It’s been well over a week.
And here’s the kicker. I still do business with this person. Granted, I represent less volume and profit in his pocket than I used to, but I am still an active, good-paying client.
Now, I am not naïve nor am I overly sensitive. But I began thinking, is his change in the service level warranted and more important, is it smart?
Well, if time is money, maybe he can justify bumping me to the bottom of his list. He really only knows that I have downsized my team and therefore, reduced my commitment to his company for logical reasons. However, he is unaware of how my coaching career has blossomed.
Had he returned my call, yes, I would have discussed the reason I was contacting him about our account. But, I would have also referred him to one of my coaching clients who just so happens to need his service and has an account that could be ten times bigger than my major account ever was.
Needless to say, I will not be a match maker for this vendor. This is not at all out of spite, but goes much deeper. Just like we should never judge a book by its cover, if you’re in business, never assume anything. It could really cost YOU!