Chapter 4: 7 Tips On Separating Vendor Hype From Reality

It is an age-old problem ... getting an accurate view of how a vendor will perform after the sale.

It's difficult ... all vendors are on their "best behavior" and doing everything they can to keep from losing the sale.

The good news is that if you know what to look for you can see some of the cracks in the "image" that a vendor might be projecting ...

Here are 7 questions you can ask your prospective vendors. The answers can help you get a better understanding of what you are getting into:

  • How many people are on your payroll?
  • Do I get a personalized proposal ... or a two-page fax?
  • Is part of the proposal a list of board member resumes?
  • Can you back up all your claims of superiority?
  • Do you ever talk to more than one person?
  • Do you have a money back guarantee?
  • What is the real core competency of the company?

In addition to these questions there are some other telltale signs that what your about to do may not be in your best interest:

  • Unrealistic beta pictures posing as production run/fully developed solutions
  • Claims that can't be substantiated
  • "Ginsu" knife style sales pitch
  • Used car sales feel
  • Will sell you anything
  • Seems too good to be true
  • Doesn't feel right

If you're picking up little hints along the way they could turn into full scale "bad vibrations" after the sale.

So ... with a few questions and paying attention to some of your subtle concerns you can achieve a win-win relationship with your vendor.

Obviously, feel free to call us about these or any other questions you may have about our process or products. We have a sales staff with engineering backgrounds as well as our actual engineering team standing by.

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