How not to treat your vendors

File this under Humanistic Management

My husband is in sales. He was referred to a new customer by one of his existing accounts. My husband is really wonderful and trustworthy and honest and people like doing business with him so he does get quite a bit of referral business. Because, and I know this may come as a shock, but all things being equal, most of us would prefer to do business with a nice honest person than a slimy person who is only looking out for themselves.

Anyway – this new customer had placed an order, but then didn’t have the check on delivery.  He promised to bring it the next day but also wanted to eliminate some things and get new pricing on others. Needless to say, the next day, still no check, and further changes to the order. This went on for 5 days. My husband finally told the guy his money was no good and he would have to buy his product from someone else, but he was going to pick up all their stuff and that would be the end of it.

I am relating this story because it isn’t like this customer was trying to screw my husband and his company over. He was just so concerned about being taken for a ride himself, he assumed that he was and treated my husband and the company he worked for accordingly. As a result, he pissed his vendor, my husband, off and will now have to deal with people who may not be as courteous or conscientious.

The lesson in all of this is that your vendors are humans too. And just like any human, you should treat them as the individuals they are and not as the individuals you assume them to be. Yes, you need to protect yourself and get the best prices. Yes, you need to do your due diligence in order to know what it is you are buying and why and whether the prices are good. But you should do all that BEFORE placing an order and always remember. Good people HATE being treated as if they are criminals and if you insist on treating your vendors like disposable trash because you believe they are all interchangeable, you may just find that the best vendors will refuse to do business with you at all.H

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