Vendor Appreciation

I continue to work with clients on upgrading and replacing hardware. Every time I work behind the scenes to get the best pricing and options for our clients (I am not making this about us and what we do, just stick with me). This process involves calling the vendors directly and trying to get discounts if the client upgrades their hardware. The typical response is that the best deals are for new clients only. Now I have written about this before and it is a continued source of aggravation. Why do vendors value new more than existing? The thought process is totally backwards. Have they never picked up a book by marketing experts such as Seth Godin? You always take care of your existing clients first. The people who got you to where you were. Those who stuck through every bad software release. Who had to deal with dead on arrival hardware. Those who put up with the new guy in tech support.

The stupidity in this model never ends. Let's say a client has 40 locations today and they are getting ready to add 10 more. The typical IT vendor mentality is they don't get any discounts, or only 10%, because they are already a client. So someone wants to expand their business with a vendor and they get charged more.

Two points to wrap this up. I don't want to write something completely negative so let me say that HP, you are doing it right. Each time one of my clients is looking to upgrade or expand you are there for them with price.

Lastly, vendors should never assume their product is so good no one will ever leave them. Businesses and people will always go to where they are treated right. And if you assume you have only raving fans out there, get a grip (to quote my favorite person). Barrack Obama had raving fans at one time now his approval ratings are in the 30s. Nothing is a sure thing.

I would love to hear your vendor pricing stories. Connect with me on LinkedIn and let's discuss specifics and vendor names. Maybe we could publish an article naming names and vendors to educate IT organizations everywhere.