“The Value of a Long Term Sales Relationship”

In many business situations, long term relationships involving sales are discouraged.  Our Commonwealth is one example in which thanks to former Gov. now Senator Mark Warner, a system of procurement was developed based purely on whose price is the cheapest.  On a regular basis I heard of dissatisfaction with the system, commonly called “EVA”.  My comment, “It’s bigger than you and me and is here to stay.
I don’t do nearly as much business for one state agency, the Dept. of Rehabilitative Services as I once did.  All acquisitions are put online and sometimes the awards are for less than cost to keep cash flowing in a competitor’s business.  Friday I demonstrated again the value in having along term relationship with this agency.  About six years ago, I supplied an order of plastic handles for soda pop cans that made it easier for people with diseases like MS and MD to hold a can.  Something I suspect most of the population takes for granted. Unfortunately, the supplier had production problems and this item was dropped from his line.  When I saw the item again in an e-mail I knew right away a segment of the market that could use this item.  Samples are on the way from PA tonight and I hope the Commonwealth of Virginia will not use my diligence against me.  I had one situation with this same agency where the Purchasing Agent said to my client, “Find out where that man got the  items he supplied us so we can put them out for bid”.  Of course, I declined that request but that episode initiated a steep decline in requests for help from this marketing supervisor.  I cerainly understand the Commonwealth’s need to do business economically but sometimes they cross the line of decency.  That’s my opinion.  M

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