Really?? The Rant Continues!
Regardless of the e-mail issue, when it became known that pen was not available in blue, the supplier suggested I see if the client wanted the pen in black. People who request blue pens usually want blue pens, and this client was no different. They didn't want black, they wanted blue. Abruptly, the client just went with another distributor for these pens.
I've been doing this a long time and always analyze when things go wrong. In this case not only did I lose an easy order, I also lost my "go to" positioning with this City department. In addition to losing a $2,000.00 order, I also potentially have lost thousands of dollars in other business. Just as we have many suppliers to choose from, my client had many distributors to choose from. And from now on, it may very well not be me as their first call.
It pains me that this happened and I recognize how I failed in the process as well. I should have asked about an in-hands date for the pens and been more specific in my request as well as ask about stock with the supplier. If this supplier didn't have that pen in blue, although it was fine to suggest black, it would have been great to immediately respond with other pen options in their line that they had in stock, in blue.
Another "real world" experience I had with a supplier was remarkably different. At a regional trade show I met Grethe Adams, president of Southern Plus in Georgia. She feels it's important to build relationships at these events, as do I. We hit it off and I could see that this was the type of supplier I would enjoy working with. Even with our proximity difference, with me being in California, I soon after chose to give an order for camp chairs to Southern Plus.
- Distributor News