One thing’s for certain, when you’re in charge of an IT department:
If you don’t control your vendor relations, they will control you.
We get dozens of cold calls and pitches, each and every week, from vendors of every stripe and walk of life.
Most are professional. Many are not.
The communiques that get most under my skin go something like this:
“You Didn’t Respond to my previous x emails… can you let me know if you have any interest in my product or service?”
Asked, and answered.
If we haven’t responded by now, we’re not gonna.
It’s not a question of being a jerk to vendors, or potential vendors. It’s a simple matter of survival.
My job is to further the institutional mission of my employer. Anything that detracts from that mission is non-essential and extraneous.
That especially includes answering unsolicited pitches and cold calls.
Not every pitch requires, or deserves, a response. If I’m interested, I’ll respond. If I’m not, I won’t.
It’s really that simple.
What especially irks me, is when vendors blast every email address at our place of business, asking for the “person responsible for X.” Without fail, this generates a few armloads of inbound junk mail, from well meaning colleagues trying to direct them the “right way.”
My advice to our people in this regard is as follows: I will treat anything from a vendor that they pass along to me as a personal endorsement, with the requisite ownership and accountability that such an endorsement carries.
It effectively keeps the volume of pitches down to what we would buy, what we would consider buying, and things that we actually need.
This approach isn’t anti-vendor. It’s pro us. A stratagem for keeping the signal-to-noise level at a level where the truly useful opportunities aren’t lost in the blaring din of unvetted cries for unsolicited attention.
Exercise your agency. Take ownership of your vendor conversations. Don’t let misplaced obligation rob you of the drive and focus your employer demands and deserves.
Go, and be you.