Ever walked in shoes that were too big? If you have, you know that it slows you down, makes you look clumsy, and can even make you stumble. When looking to deal with a vendor for a specific purchasing need that will involve more than 50% of your business (i.e. a supplier you would buy your day to day materials from), you MUST find a company and a sales rep that is tailored to handling your volume of business. Too often, contractors look to buy from the biggest, nicest, most reputable dealer in town. At face value, all of those characteristics are desirable and important but this dealer might not fit your specific needs. When looking to partner up with a vendor for the best possible pricing and customer service, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Will this company and their representative give me the personalized service I need on a daily basis?
2. How much sales volume is the rep used to dealing with? Will I be a priority to them or will I be the little fish in a BIG POND?
3. Does the supplier and its representatives have the knowledge needed to deal effectively with MY needs and those of MY customers?
4. Will I be able to contact my sales rep easily and will I even have a sales rep I can regularly deal with?
5. Will my sales rep be hands on? Able to visit me regularly?
6. Does the vendor support and carry the line of materials I need and desire?
Although, there are other “business” issues to consider such as payment terms, billing departments, and overall reputation, none of those issues will have more of an impact on your daily success than finding someone to supply your needs when you request it and at a fair price. Remember, you can walk in a very expensive pair of shoes made with the finest quality of material, but if they are too big, it won’t be long before you trade them in. At that point, a less expensive, good quality shoe that fits “just right” will make you feel much better.