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YogaByCandace

Let's talk business relationships

13 posts in this topic

I'm so irritated that I need a place to vent and to ask if I am crazy or what. (Wait, don't answer that... :D ) So here's the deal. Growing up, my mom ran her own business. She always has worked for herself and she is very business savvy and I learned so much from her. Her number one rule was that the customer was always right. Always, because word of mouth is the best (and potentially the worst) thing for a business. 

 

So in my small business practices, I've lead with that idea in mind, and I always expect to be treated that way when I'm a customer. Now, obviously I don't abuse that as a customer - but if there is a bug in my drink at a restaurant, I'm going to send it back. I did that once (huge fly, I don't even know how they missed it), and they gave me a new drink, and the manager came over to personally apologize and give us a free appetizer. That kind of thing goes a long way. 

 

Anyway, I have a business deal in the works that is worth a lot of money (for me, anyway, a small business). I am the customer placing the order. The company I'm working with shall remain nameless and product-less. :) I have been on top of things the entire time in our emails back and forth. The owner of this company has been flakey - forgetting important details, confusing me with another customer, and not responding to important emails in a timely manner (although all non-important emails are answered within an hour). The product, however, is really, really good and so I really only want to work with this company, and therefore I've looked over his behavior. Today there was a phone conversation in which he claimed he this was the first he'd heard of my deadline (even though I specifically said it in our first email). He was extremely rude in his tone of voice, saying that all the other companies he's worked with just send the money and their specifications and they don't have all this back and forth communication. He insinuated that I was being a burden and it made me feel like I was inconveniencing him by simply asking the questions I had and double checking that everything was in order. I tried to explain that being a small business about to make what I consider a significant investment, I need to be sure we are on the same page and all the details are correct. He was so irritable and so rude to me that at this point, I want to take my business elsewhere. 

 

While in the shower, where I do my best thinking, I asked myself if this was ego. Am I just having a pity party for one because this guy didn't treat me with the courtesy I've come to expect as a paying customer? Is that my right? My thinking is that I work very hard for my money, and I want to spend it wisely and support other small businesses, but man, you can't treat me like that and then expect me to spend a ton of money for your services! On the other hand, and this is really just me trying to apply my yoga lessons off the mat, no one can make me feel inferior without my consent, correct? Can I just be on the other end of that phone call and disengage? Not react? I am pretty feisty, and not usually quick to get so fiery but this is a  tough one for me.

 

The problem of course is that I am under a huge deadline and either need to pony up and pay once I get the quote, or  quickly search another company and settle for another product that's not as good as his. 

 

Thoughts? How important are these things to you as a paying customer? How do you treat others when you're conducting business? What do you think I should do?  :blink:

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Oh tough one, and I'd be upset by his manner in your position considering you've done nothing at all wrong. Would it be likely once you manage to get all the information you need from him that you'd have to deal with him again, or for future orders you could simply send them a fax/email now that you know what the process is? Because he's not someone I'd want to deal with if I was needing regular orders from that company.

 

I don't think that was your ego, how businesses deal with questions and complaints is what earns them my business or turns me right away. The difficult thing in your case is that it's the product you need!

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It is a tough but by continuing your business deal with him are you then condoning his behaviour! Maybe he treats other customers like this too and because of his products they put up with it too. Could you feedback how he has made you feel?

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I have faced this issue a few times in my business. Most of the time I take my business elsewhere. I hate working with people who cause me grief, so I choose not to work with them. It makes life much less stressful. Presumably if you enter into a business relationship with this guy then you will be dealing with him over and over again and you'll find that there'll be attitude all the way down the line.

 

One of the best business lesson I have learned - You have to know when to tell people to f*ck off. You may not feel nice about it, but it is sometimes the very best thing you can do. Obviously you don't have to use those words, although I had a boss who regularly used to use those exact words and they worked miracles. It would shake up the supplier so much that they would bend over backwards to accommodate him, and the dynamic would shift dramatically in his favour. 

 

If you really want his product then you are the customer, you have the money. If he isn't treating you like a queen then it's time for the F-bomb!

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Thanks for your input, friends! I've decided to take my business elsewhere. I will write him an email letting him know why I won't be ordering from him because who knows, maybe he doesn't even realize he is being so rude. Since this will be a product I need over and over again, I'll take the lesser product for this first time around just to meet my deadline and then I'll be able to hopefully find another company that makes a high quality product with excellent customer service. Whew. 

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In this day and age, I can't believe one, and only one, distributor is selling a product. No one else markets it? (is he the designer/creator?)

Yes, he's the designer/creator. It's ok though, I *WILL* find someone equally good (or maybe even better?!) haha :D

LarryD517 likes this

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Sounds like this designer has got a bit too sure of his product and probably knows there is nothing else on the market... However, there will be a rival product and with his poor customer service he will rapidly loose his customer base..

yogafire and MrBalloonHands like this

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Thanks for your input, friends! I've decided to take my business elsewhere. I will write him an email letting him know why I won't be ordering from him because who knows, maybe he doesn't even realize he is being so rude. Since this will be a product I need over and over again, I'll take the lesser product for this first time around just to meet my deadline and then I'll be able to hopefully find another company that makes a high quality product with excellent customer service. Whew. 

Good for you! I would do the same thing. It's your money and  being a business person he should have valued your desire to buy his product. It's a shame he feels the need to treat others in this manor. He probably has turned others off also.

YogaByCandace likes this

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Good for you! I would do the same thing. It's your money and  being a business person he should have valued your desire to buy his product. It's a shame he feels the need to treat others in this manor. He probably has turned others off also.

I let him know, nicely, in an email this week when he followed up to (rudely) ask where my order was. He responded that he was surprised because he has worked with thousands of companies "even less experienced than yours" - wow, had to get one more dig in there I guess! 

Robbie likes this

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Candace I have to say, good for you for taking your business elsewhere. I have no patience for people who make others feel less than worthy. I recently encountered a similar situation with an event I was planning for work - the venue I was working was difficult to get a hold of and very short in their responses, but I went through with it anyways. The event turned out great, but when I went to pay the event coordinator at the end of the night she told me I was "a hot mess". I'm a very specific person and I know I have a lot of questions, so I always warn people that I have a lot to ask, and that I like to be able to just talk through things. Well apparently that's a bad thing and it means I'm a hot mess. It's a good thing, for her sake, that it was a work function, otherwise she would have gotten an earful from me.
Bottom line, no product is worth poor treatment. We are all human beings, worthy or respect and consideration. Period.

yogafire, robert and YogaByCandace like this

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Candace I have to say, good for you for taking your business elsewhere. I have no patience for people who make others feel less than worthy. I recently encountered a similar situation with an event I was planning for work - the venue I was working was difficult to get a hold of and very short in their responses, but I went through with it anyways. The event turned out great, but when I went to pay the event coordinator at the end of the night she told me I was "a hot mess". I'm a very specific person and I know I have a lot of questions, so I always warn people that I have a lot to ask, and that I like to be able to just talk through things. Well apparently that's a bad thing and it means I'm a hot mess. It's a good thing, for her sake, that it was a work function, otherwise she would have gotten an earful from me.
Bottom line, no product is worth poor treatment. We are all human beings, worthy or respect and consideration. Period.

A hot mess?!!?!?!?! What an unprofessional thing to say to a CLIENT! Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry that person did that. I hope that you don't give it a second of your energy and move on. Big hugs!

yogafire likes this

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