Even if you’re not that into rom-coms, you likely remember the 2009 hit “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston and a star-studded cast introduced us to the romantic misadventures of “Gigi,” who regularly misread and misinterpreted the intentions of her romantic partners (and would-be partners).
Ever get the sense your expectations for your business partners and vendors belonged somewhere in that movie? Or that a vendor has lost interest in being a part of your future? We’ve all had such experiences at least once or twice. So we here at LodeStar thought we’d offer up our own suggestions for seeing the red flags that suggest your vendor, well…. just isn’t that into you.
In the beginning, it seems like your vendors can’t get enough of you. Proactive emails, follow up emails, quick calls just “to see how things are going.” Your new vendor is seemingly everywhere you look. But when a partner/vendor relationship fades, the proactivity tends to die. If anything, good luck getting your call or email returned in a timely fashion.
Kind of at the heart of the vendor-client relationship, no? But sometimes, when a vendor decides the client isn’t worth the amount of time and effort for the return, said vendor doesn’t really care to hear about how the business is going (or that the vendor needs to invest more time on your behalf.) The best way to avoid that, of course, is not to ask.
Remember the constant upsell? Each new feature merited a marketing email, a personal email and a couple of calls beginning for some time to show you a Power Point? Remember when your sales or account rep was able to move mountains of red tape behind the scenes on your behalf? If you can’t remember those days, then it’s probably time to take a look around at other vendors.
Notice that, in the early days, you’re hearing from the people in power with your new vendor. If it’s a small business, you might even get a check-in from the CEO or owner. But when, as the months and years pass, you’re no longer surprised to find out that a) you’re getting a new account rep; b) the old account rep has left the company and, c) the account rep is absolutely no authority or ability to own an issue; it’s fairly apparent that your vendor’s just not all that into you anymore.
…and good luck getting them to make the trip to your offices. If your vendor’s not even up for a cup of coffee or a trip by your booth in the exhibit hall—much less coming to your afterhours event or presentation at the statewide annual conference, the message is fairly clear: you’re no longer worth their time.
Sometimes, a vendor-client relationship runs its course. Business needs may change for either (or both) parties. The key people making the deal work in the first place move on. But it still stuns us, as a provider who lives and dies by our service levels, to see vendors—even vendors who’ve become national, brand name enterprises—treat clients like hapless crushes who aren’t worth the time of day to them. And, unfortunately, this real life “swipe left” happens all the time.
They say that the mortgage industry is a relationship-based industry. We absolutely agree with that sentiment. So when a vendor starts to take those relationships for granted, it’s not something that’s easily or quickly forgotten. If you’re seeing in the tea leaves that your vendor’s half way to greener pastures, maybe it’s time to have a serious conversation…either with the vendor or their competitors.
Got a few examples of your own for when a vendor just isn’t that into you? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.