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Rats Sam! Now you've gone and spilled the beans to the vendors that monitor this listserv! LOL Wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Thanks for the insight you have shared. -Sam Sam Scoma Chief Information Officer Information Technology Services Black Hawk College 309.796.5650




I feel the need to respond to s few of your points from the perspective of the “salesperson”


Fist let me say that I have absolutely no problem with hardball negotiations – Especially in a tight economy.  If you are buying commodities – and can get them from any number of sources (or if you are a government agency required to buy low bid), the salesperson knows it and expects no loyalty.


But if you are buying a product that requires an ongoing relationship, I offer the following observations:

 2.  The Waiting Game – Get a quote from the vendor and then wait. The sales person will start lowering their prices by themselves for fear their price is not competitive.  [don’t be surprised if they can no longer meet your original deadlines “Fast-Good-Cheap, pick any two”]


 5.  Budgetary Limitations – We have a budgetary limit of $XXX.  [if true, you just lost your negotiating power, if false, then you have started the process with deception].


 10. Playing vendors against each other – Let the sales person know that you are looking at their competitor. Tell them what the other guy's price. This may not always be ethical, so I usually just tell them that the other guys are much lower. [IT IS NEVER ETHICAL.  The first time you do that to a pro will be the last time that pro competes for your business.  You better really luck out on your selection because it is a VERY small world and others will soon know that their bids are not confidential and are used to shop after the fact]


 14. Power of Referrals – Offer to be one of your vendor's reference accounts. Or promise to make referrals in exchange for deeper discounts.  [If you deceived me above, I’m not going to believe this]


 20. Make the vendor feel good about themselves – Praise their product, tell them that they are a super sales person …[Just treat us with the same respect you desire.  A pro will measure his worth when you sign on the dotted line.]


One of the true blessings of consulting to the higher ed community over the past 25 years has been the lack of gamesmanship and deception from those who requested quotes for our services and from those who we have worked with to make improvements on the campuses.  I suspect that culture is one that motivates you to work where you do. 



Ron Walczak    PMP, RCDD, CWNA/CWSP
Walczak Technology Consultants, Inc
(724) 865-2740

"Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act." -  Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

"The great aim of education is not knowledge but action." - Herbert Spencer

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple;  but only God can count the apples in a seed. 

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"Monitor" indeed, Sam Scoma. Last week I responded to a question about Blackboard, and today I have a sales pitch from a Blackboard employee on the same subject. Neil Fay CTO, Hood College