5 Supplier Comments that Turn Capable Suppliers into Loosers

To all of you who supply clents with services, listen up. You can loose a great client within less than one minute with these 5 comments.

1. "Send that request to me in writing."

Guess what. If I wanted to take the time to write down every simple request I have, then you can forget it. I'll give you the specs verbally with your input, then it's up to you as the service to come back to me with a written summary of what I requested during our phone conversation. Never ask me to do something you can do. I'm the client here.

2. After a thirty minute overview of what I want to see in terms of results and output, the supplier asks: "Exactly, what do you want us to do?"

What a dumb question. I told you, the service provider what I am trying to achieve. I expect you, the supplier, to advise me on what you can do for me to achieve what I want. You, should come back with a well-thought through recommendation of what you think I should do. Never ask me to develop the specifications in your area of expertise. Again, don't ask me to do something you should do for me.

3. When making a presentation for support, a supplier will give me their canned speech without regard to what they can do for me. They will say: "We will optimize your website for $XXXX a month..."

Even the word "optimize" turns me off become it is so general that I have no way of evaluating your service. What will you do and what will I get for the money you are asking me to spend? How about giving me the why, how, when and what you do to bring me more business on my website? Demonstrate to me how you will improve what I now have. And make that list complete. Why do you need a monthly fee instead of a one-time fee? Give me the 18 things you will do in a given time period and for how long and how often? What results will I likely see after what period of time? Give me examples or a relevant case study. Give me evidence of performance.

4. "What charge do you think your client will accept?"

If you ask me, $10 to zero. Now why should I know a fair price? I want you to tell me what you need to make a decent profit that will also give the client value. I want the most value for the money. Sometimes, I will go in with a budget for intangibles like creative development and certain types of research or analytics. But for a commodity item, the project ultimately goes to the company with the lowest price. Never ask me to price your services for you.

5. "Our company demands a Purchase Order. Your email order is not adequate even though you are paying our estimate to you in advance."

Give me a break. The only thing you will see from me is my email order and a check paying for every thing in advance. You are not the government. I selected you based on many factors, not the least of which includes "easy-to-work-with." Work with me the way I want to work rather than the other way around. Again, I'm the client -- then again, maybe not your client after this event.

It's a pity that suppliers can spend months or years developing a good working relationship only to kill it with such stupid remarks.

What other things have you heard that can turn clients instantly?

Posted on April 25, 2013 and filed under Customer Service, General.