Vendor Client Story

A coworker showed me this video and it brought a huge smile to my face. Then, I started thinking about it and I realized that it is so funny because of how true it is.

So, let’s think about this, we all want a great deal on whatever it is that we are buying and we also all want to be compensated for our work in a reasonable manner. Why is it that as customers we have gained this sense of entitlement? Why do we now believe that we deserve special treatment? More importantly, does it actually benefit you to receive special treatment?

It is no secret that many companies, especially small companies, struggle to survive. We’re not talking about the Microsoft, BP, Apple type companies, where not meeting a profit projection makes a bad quarter; this is about those companies where losses make a bad quarter. Also, let’s define losses. Losses aren’t extra employees being hired; losses aren’t extra assets being purchased; losses aren’t a decline in your stock value. Losses are one thing, not making as much money as you needed to cover your expenses. Losses are having to dip into reserves or borrow to stay alive. This is the situation that many businesses find themselves in this year.

Now, as a disclaimer, I happen to work for a great company and for the most part, our customer base is made up of people who understand how things work and that in order to get something, you must give something, but every once in a while you do encounter the guy who wants you to do work for free on the promise that they’ll pay you next time.

But, in general, expecting special treatments, free work or free training doesn’t benefit the customer either. If enough customers do this, the company providing the service will just close and then whatever product exists will either go unsupported or go into some sort of escrow support program if you are lucky. You get the free stuff now, but in the long run you lose because when you need support or you need to purchase more of the thing you bought, the vendor may no longer be there.

My point is, if a vendor has an asking price, go ahead and haggle, as it is part of the game to do so, but do so reasonably otherwise you could end up with a big pile of unsupported products a few years down the road.