Have you ever had a vendor tell you that they “really appreciate you” or that they wanted to take you to lunch to thank you for all of your hard work? Does every vendor you run into want to be your friend?
When I first started managing vendors, I thought that they truly wanted to be my “partner” as we worked together on a project. After many years of managing and working with vendors, I can tell you that they want to make the sale and earn their commission and that’s about it.
Does this sound harsh? Well, it may. But, this is nothing that anyone who has worked with vendors for many years wouldn’t tell you. Vendors know when there’s a new kid on the block in the department. Is this your first time managing a vendor on a project or working with a vendor on a contract? Don’t tell them! Vendors have strategies for the new kid and the seasoned folks. If you tell a vendor that this is a new job for you, they will eat you alive. And by this I mean that they will probe you for information on the company, weaving this into their next quarter’s sales pitch. They’ll ask you about your budget. They’ll ask you who you report to and how long you’ve been working in this field. Don’t give them any additional information and definitely, don’t be their friend!