Business etiquette

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    This question goes out to AAC's small business owners or anybody knowledgeable in business etiquette. I've recently started my own business and I'm looking for clients. I had the bright idea just now to send an email to one of my suppliers. His company is one of the largest local retailers of industrial parts, and he is a sales guy for my specific industry. I figure he probably knows someone in every wire & cable/extrusion company within 100 miles. So I asked him for some leads. See email below:
    So after hitting SEND, I thought to myself "did I just do something wrong?" Have I just committed a business faux pas? Is it normal behavior of a company to solicit business in this way?
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I cannot see that you did anything wrong. Presumably you know this person and have a casual relationship with him. This person is your supplier and his business is not in competition with yours. Your business increases his sales.

    Where you have to be careful is when there is a conflict of interest, for example, using a contact list from your previous employer or employer's customers, or trying to obtain information from a potential competitor in your line of business.
     
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  3. strantor

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    Well, good news. I got reply already; thankfully he didn't make me wait around nervous all day.
    So I guess it's all good.
     
  4. JoeJester

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    You can always ask friends for recommendations, and that is precisely what you did.
     
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  5. gerty

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    You really didn't put him on the spot, you gave him an "out"
    Actually you gave him a couple...
     
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  6. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    Your fine, but I would of gone another way. I would of asked if he would let me place my card at his biz or give people referrals to me. Most people don't wanna give away private customer data, but if he has a customer that needs something or asks for a tech, let him recommend you. But no you did nothing wrong.
     
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  7. happyganl

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    Dec 17, 2009
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    :p,I have been in your situation one time. and got replied in 5 minutes.
     
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  8. strantor

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    That's a good idea, and I will do that as well. Thanks!
     
  9. maxpower097

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    Tell em he gets a 10% finders fee or free work for referrals. That usually motivates people to steer em your way.
     
  10. happyganl

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    Dec 17, 2009
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    does it call "brokerage"?
     
  11. loosewire

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    Happyganl, Do you about venture capital and hedge funds and Investment.

    Raiff,has a Island he wants to sell you. His Island,not the Islands in trouble.
     
  12. strantor

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    so I was working friday for my new client. Troubleshot their machine and found a bad ethernet card. I was trying to find a new card, and it turns out that there is only one distributor in my area. So I contacted the distributor and discussed payment and delivery; I explained that my client would pay (per our previous agreement) and the part would be delivered to their facility. The distributor asked who my client is, and I said the name, and he replied "WHOA... NO, NO, and NO." He said that my client had previously contracted his company to do a $60K install and then didn't pay up. They went to court and my client claimed that the work was never performed. He said that he would not sell them anything, nor me anything on their behalf, and he "would not even **** on them if they were on fire."

    I suspect that he thinks I'm actually a secret agent of my client and not a 3rd party, as he "accidentally" called me by the name of a maintenance tech who works for my client. So now I fear that any time I need a part from this manufacturer, I will have to go back to this distributor (the only one in town) who has now associated me with his arch-enemy.

    It's a big red flag and I don't feel 100% comfortable doing work for this client now since learning that they walk out on paying and I perceive that they are putting a tarnish on my name. BUT, I need the work; I don't have any other work right now. I think for now, I will just make sure that they understand that I get paid within a week or I don't come back, and I will pay for all parts, unless they want to do the legwork and leave my name out of it.
     
  13. JoeJester

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    Apr 26, 2005
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    I think you might want to visit that distributor and introduce yourself and that you might need their products in the future. Establish an account with them, showing your business license. Most distributors will do a NET 30 account.
     
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  14. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    I agree with Joe. Go down there and tell them whats up. Ask for more information so you don't end up in the same situation. That way you can convey to them your on their side in their boat. As for the job tell the company their just gonna have to order it from somewhere else or china.
     
  15. strantor

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    Crap I just realized I posted my post #12 in the wrong thread. it was supposed to go into my "starting my own business" thread. oh well.

    I think that's a good idea; I will probably go over there in a couple of weeks and try to absolve myself of any guilt by association. By then I may by then even be able to say "hey, they didn't pay me either" (hopefully not)
     
  16. JoeJester

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    I hate to say this ... if you didn't walk out with the cash or check ... the chances are slim given their track record. Even a check would be suspect. I remember my first client giving me a check. Damm thing bounced and costs me the bank admin fees. I was slightly upset. Mechanics liens are good to use in cases like that.
     
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  17. THE_RB

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    Feb 11, 2008
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    Somewhere during my business number two I made a vow never again to have a business where I supply goods or services now, and then wait (beg) to be paid later.

    You gotta be as smart as a hooker... Make sure you get the money first, then you do the nasty. ;)
     
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  18. maxpower097

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    Joes right, I've got jacked by one company for $5000 earlier this year. Granted they paid me $8000 they never paid their balance once the job was done. Whats sad is I know when they need more work there gonna try to buy me off and get me to work. So I'm sure in a year or two I'll get the money.
     
  19. maxpower097

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    But I'll admit until you have a good resume or industry rep your gonna have to work with clients on trust starting out on your own.
     
  20. JoeJester

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    Hookers are the only profession where they know their worth and the absolute lowest they will go for the services they provide. But I digess ....

    Most employees don't understand the relationship between their wages and the shop hourly rate.

    Cash basis is the best way. Accural or even NET 30 is sometimes hairy as you are claiming the income and paying the taxes even if you "don't get paid." Accrual is the true picture of the business, but, if your not dealing with a known entity (federal goverment) it could be "crazy".

    I do hope you get paid.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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