Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Pissy with a Vendor

On the phone with a vendor from whom I'd requested an advertised, free, 30-day trial of an information resource on behalf of a department at MPOW.

After 30 minutes of my patiently letting her pitch me with sales B.S. (We're already interested in the product! Why would I ask for a trial and quote otherwise?!), I asked for the third time if we could get a quote.

Vendor: Well, I'd really like for you to have the trial for a week before I tell you that.

[Uncomfortable pause]

Me: I can understand why, from a sales perspective, you'd feel that way. However, if my internal client evaluates the trial for a week and THEN finds out it is impossibly beyond her budget, she will have wasted a week evaluating it. So we sort of need that information up front.

Vendor: Well, how much do you have budgeted for [this type of resource]?

[Uncomfortable pause]

Me: (Slowly and calmly) Lets assume for a moment that I have that information. The quote you give me should be based on what you feel the product's market demand merits. So if I have that kind of information, let us assume that there is no way on earth I'd share it with you. The quote you give us will not be based on how much money is available.

Vendor: Well, we don't want to devalue our data either.

Me: Of course not- that's why you set prices based on market demand, not on how much money the prospective client has, especially in this economy. Right now, you're devaluing a prospective client- and I suspect that's even worse for your bottom line than devaluing your data.

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