We all have spent a lot of money on suppliers that provided us with lousy quality services, or never delivered on our expectations of them. We have compiled seven pointers that will help you to recognise when somebody is a dodgy supplier or not able to do the work.
Hopefully, these early signs will help you to avoid appointing people and suppliers that will not deliver the service you expect.
1. Talking too much
Sign number one is talking themselves up. I meet people and usually when they talk themselves up saying: “I am so good at this or I am so good at that I have done this I have done that.” These are usually early signs that they can’t do the work.
When they are talking too much about themselves, and they don’t talk about the work or the success for their clients it’s an early sign to recognise that maybe this person is talking themselves up rather than the outcome of their work.
2. No investment in the relationship
If you receive a quote that states for example 10 hours – “I will do this work for you in 10 hours”.
Ask them what would happen if the work would take 11 or 12 hours or 13 hours. Why do you ask this?
You are trying to find out if these people are willing to spend and invest some more time without additional fees into the relationship and work with you. If the answer is yes, these are the suppliers you want to work with.
If however they are very protective of their time and say no, no, no you need to pay me every additional hour, you need to pay me; this is probably not the right provider for you.
3. Non-relevant or “cookie-cutter” Quote
Another warning sign that I noticed over the years is irrelevant quotes.
When people bring back to you a quote which is not relevant to what you asked for, that means they are using a template, a generic template to sell their services.
It means you are seen as a “mass production” opportunity. They are just applying a generic approach to your business and your needs and are not really wanting to provide for your specific needs.
This is exactly what you get when you appoint them. Generic service.
If you want to grow your business you need to ask people to deliver services that are specific to your business needs.
So beware when you receive a generic quote without any specific notes this is a red flag, don’t appoint them. Find someone else who will take care enough and will put in enough time to prepare a quote that is tailored to your needs.
4. Hidden fees
Another red flag you should be looking at is the hidden fees and charges.
If the pricing is not very clear and the scope of delivery is not very clear, you need to beware that there is a high potential that you will be charged extra.
Always ask sufficient questions to verify what the pricing is about, what will I get and is there anything I can’t get.
The best possible proposals are the ones that are very simple. Simple clear and they show exactly what they will do for you.
5. Failure to communicate promptly
Delays in responding to calls or emails leave the impression that the supplier is either too busy to work with me, or they don’t have control over their business.
The lack of prompt communication will lead to dissatisfaction and frustration with their performance.
We all are busy, and at times it is impossible to respond immediately. A quick response giving an estimate of when they can expect a response goes a long way to extend time grace.
Consistency in conversations and messages are extremely important. When the communication changes from day-to-day, it is a sure sign of disappointment laying ahead in the relationship.
Say, you have had a great conversation with the supplier and feel things are going well towards your expectation.
But then the supplier sends you the written details of the meeting, it looks nothing like what was agreed on. This means one of two things: either they are a bad listener or untrustworthy company. Neither are of which are good options.
Don’t hold your breath that the situation will improve.
Suppliers that are honest and upfront can be relied upon to deliver on their promises.
7. Playing the blame game
When expectations for service are not met, or below an acceptable standard and they refuse to take responsibility and blame everyone else for lack of delivery.
This is very similar to being dishonest and there is rarely a change in behaviour.
You are better off finding an alternative supplier.
In summary, the best supplier is the one who carries the same core values as you. Core values determine the way they work and, in turn, their compatibility to work with your business. Look at suppliers that value honesty, integrity and excellence.
Core value alignment will ensure a mutually satisfactory relationship.
Have we missed a sign that you have encountered? Let us know by commenting on this article.
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