I spent too much of today on the phone with a vendor from whom I’d requested an advertised, free, 30-day trial of an information resource on behalf of a clinical department at MPOW. (For now, I won’t name the product or company, but I welcome your guesses in the comments.)
After 30 minutes of my patiently letting her finish pitching me with sales information I did not want (We’re already interested in the product! Why would I ask for a trial and quote otherwise?!), I asked for the third time if we could get a quote.
Vendor: Well, I’d really like for you to have the trial for a week before I tell you that.
Me: I can understand why, from a sales perspective, you’d want that. However, if my internal client evaluates the trial for a week, likes it, and THEN finds out it is impossibly beyond her budget, she will have wasted a week of her valuable time…so I need to have that information up front.
Vendor: Well, how much money do you have budgeted for this type of resource?
[Uncomfortable pause as I wrestle with my disbelief that the question was asked]
Me: (Slowly and calmly) Lets assume for a moment that I have that information. The quote you give me should be based on what you feel the product’s market demand merits. If I have that kind of information, let us assume that there is no way on earth I’d share it with you. The quote you give us will not be based on how much money is available.
Vendor: Well, we don’t want to devalue our data either.
Me: That’s why you set prices based on market demand, not on how much money the prospective client has, especially in this economy. Right now, you’re devaluing a prospective client- and I suspect that’s even worse for your bottom line than devaluing your data.
Fortunately, my internal client finds this behavior as despicable as I do.
How often have you had conversations like this with vendors and how do you handle them?
Seriously- tell me your vendor horror stories?
(Again, I’d love to hear your guesses about who the vendor/product is. If you guess correctly in the comments, I’ll email you and tell you so.)