The new gatekeeper

More and more of my accounts have con­tracted with  ven­dor man­age­ment com­pa­nies and are con­trol­ling the patrolling  inside their companies.

What a waste of time and money! Not just mine, but theirs.  Sales peo­ple bring real value expos­ing busi­ness lead­ers to new tech­nol­ogy,  ser­vices and best practices.

Sure, I under­stand that busi­ness lead­ers can’t  have a open door to every sales per­son because that’s all they would do all day.  That’s why we had the tried and true gate­keeper.  To screen the offer­ings of the sales folks.  But to out­source the gate­keeper  to a third party that only val­ues process does not ensure the best ideas and prod­ucts will get the the peo­ple that need them.

Every­body wants the best prod­ucts, an aggres­sive and com­pe­tent ven­dor, and on call access to address their needs. “please keep me aware of new prod­ucts as they come out, and oh by the way, you now have to pay to call on us. ”

I guess since they can’t go to lunch, play golf, or take gifts any­more, they needed to find a cre­ative way to take your expense money, wel­come to our new ven­dor man­age­ment company.

The prob­lem with these dra­con­ian ven­dor man­age­ment com­pa­nies is not only do they they want a fee (I’ve seen any­where from $30-$500)  but they want ALL your per­sonal infor­ma­tion. Not just name and address but date of birth &  SSN. Some of them want you to pay for and fur­nish the details of a  back­ground  check.

Oh one more thing, they aren’t respon­si­ble for safe­guard­ing  any of your per­sonal infor­ma­tion.  Think about that, because you want to call on a prospect, you give a com­pany your social secu­rity num­ber. They inad­ver­tently post it on the inter­net.  “oops so sorry”.  Before you sign up;  Make  sure you buy Life­lock or one of those other   iden­tity theft pro­tec­tion deals.  (another 100 bucks or so a year)

Once you have all that squared away, done the anal probe and  paid your toll, you are now free to make appoint­ments and con­tinue to develop your good faith “partnership.”

Recently I was con­tacted by a C level who won­dered where I had been. I explained the new pol­icy and the ven­dor man­age­ment hoops I was jump­ing through so I could call on him. Nat­u­rally, he was unaware of the process. But he needed to see me me right away. So I headed to pur­chas­ing loaded for bear with his name and all my other con­tacts and asked if I had been approved.

No, I had not.

After going through one cre­den­tial at a time, call­ing the ven­dor sup­port con­tact of the ven­dor mgmt. com­pany and an hour and 45 min­utes later, I was approved.

I needed a get out of jail card on why I had been ignor­ing my con­tacts, so I made the pur­chas­ing agent call my con­tacts and ask for an appoint­ment for me. She didn’t know any of them, so I made her look them up.  “How do you know all these peo­ple?” She asked.  “I’m a pro­fes­sional sales per­son and have been call­ing on this com­pany since you  were 4 years old you crazy bitch!” (OK, I didn’t say that, but I realty wanted to).  I did tell  her they had been con­tact­ing me for appoint­ments and fol­low up, they were peo­ple I had known and helped out for years. That she and her new process  was keep­ing me from meet­ing with them.

Imag­ine her sur­prise! Yes, Vir­ginia,  sales peo­ple do bring value.

Could you imag­ine if this thing catches on, after all every­thing is sales.  You’d have to pay to meet with your chidlren’s teacher or coach. 30 bucks  to meet with your boss to ask for a raise.  Go get your­self a pass so you can sell your wife to … uh well … you get the idea.

This whole thing reminds me of that old car­toon where the King and his archers or get­ting ready for war but he doesn’t have time to see the the silly sales­man (Who is sell­ing a machine gun.)

These ven­dor man­age­ment com­pa­nies while per­haps fix­ing some small prob­lem will end up ham­string­ing an orga­ni­za­tion and sup­press­ing it’s competitiveness.

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One Response to “ The new gatekeeper ”

  1. Duke says:

    Res­cue me, ven­dor man­age­ment com­pa­nies like Rep­Trax, etc. , just another in the long list of order pre­ven­tion society.

    Well said.


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