Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Vendor follies

A big portion of my job involves dealing with outside vendors who are looking to sell us their products or services. The vendors run from being really on the ball to complete idiots, and the area in between.

For example, one rather large web hosting company is interested in having us partner with them for the hosting we outsource for our commercial customers. They were supposed to get me a demo account so I could login and try out their online control panel, site creation wizard, etc. Their VP of Sales called me this morning to see if I'd tried them out yet, and I had to inform him that no, I hadn't received the account info. It's possible that my employer's spam filters blocked the email but I kinda doubt it. Anyway, I had them resend the info to my Gmail address, and finally got it.

Another vendor, this one a domain registrar, called me yesterday to follow up on a conference call we had last week. I was first told to inquire about their solutions a month or so ago, and sent off an email requesting info. I didn't hear anything from them for a few weeks, which is not cool. (I don't normally refer to my employer by name. Hint: it's a BIG cable company and ISP.) When we finally had a conference call with the vendor, they couldn't meet a number of our requirements without bringing in a third party.

I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in having my outsourced vendor outsource something to yet another party in order to meet a requirement for something they should be able to handle itself.

So when this guy called me back yesterday I was not favorably disposed towards his company after having to tell him several times that no, I am not ready for another conference call, and I'll call or email him if I want any more info. High pressure sales tactics do not work with me.

In contrast to this wanker, I had a very pleasant experience dealing with another domain registrar. They responded to my initial email promptly, met 100% of our requirements right off the bat, and set me up with a demo account which includes a web page control center that they already co-branded for me. Instead of trying high pressure sales tactics, they sought to meet and exceed our expectations. That, folks, is how you make a sale, and that's why I've strongly recommended to the PTB here that we go with them.

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