Make it easy for people to buy from you.

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There are definitely some suppliers who don't want to do business with you. Hopefully they're honest and can simply state that they don't want to do business with you because they sell through distributors (or you're too small, you're asking for stuff that they can't really supply, etc.).

Then there are some customers who just — for some weird reason only known to themselves — just make it really difficult to buy from them.

The more seamless you make the buying process the more business you’ll get (and the quicker you’ll get paid).

Our quotations are based on some specific volume calculations – we have simple spreadsheet that helps us quickly put out a quotation (which can be done within a couple of minutes).

Quicker still is giving the model to the client and they do their own quotations and just send us a PO.

But some suppliers make it extremely difficult to buy from (to the extent that you feel insulted and will never buy or recommend them again).

An example, a client of mine has discretionary purchasing authority up to around R10,000 using the company credit card.

He wanted to buy goods of around R7,000 from a supplier. The supplier didn’t have a credit card facility and wanted to be paid upfront (my client had already spent around R250,000 with this specific supplier) via EFT (which now would involve supplier/purchase requisitions, trade references, vendor application forms, etc. etc.).

So my client asked me if I could do the purchase for them (we are already on his suppliers vendor list). “Sure” I said. And the nightmare started. A buyer application process that took weeks. Trade references required (inpsite of us already having purchased from them). In the end I apologized to my client and told the supplier to fuck off.

So my client offered to buy them a credit card machine. He even said that they could add this to his bill – they refused A basic Yoco card machine costs around R799.00!

They’re no longer his or my client. He went and purchased the product he needed elsewhere. And, given the wide ranging nature of his role, they’ve proably lost a R250,000/annum client which will never come back to them.

And, of course, they’ve also lost my referrals.

Yes make sure that you’re not going to be exposed to bad debt. But for heaven's sake make it easy for people to give you money!