I just had an interesting experience with a potential vendor. They're a big (not giant) operation and they approached me about using one of their services to promote a client's upcoming event.
I hadn't thought of using them and the budget is already locked in. But I asked about the cost and learned it would be $800. I asked the saleswoman how low they could go, explaining maybe I'd pay for it out of my own pocket and use the results to justify including it in the budget for next year. I told her I could handle $200.
The saleswoman checked with her manager and was told they could drop it to $500. I told her all I felt comfortable paying from my pocket was $200. I explained that I'm a small business and my fee for the project couldn't justify me shelling out $500 of my own money.
She said, by email, sorry, maybe another time.
My emailed response was thanks for trying, but isn't $200 better than $0?
She wrote back that she understands and agrees, but had to go with her boss' decision.
Corporate-think at its best.
I could understand not going below a certain price for a hard product, which has a real cost for production, distribution and profit margin. Or for a service based on hours. Of course you don't want to lose money on a sale.
But this is, essentially, a digital effort, where something I provide would be put into an existing digital network. Minimal, if any, time involved. And if it brought the results the vendor said it would, I know I would have no trouble selling the client on using it next year, at full price...in fact, maybe using it more than once at full price.
So here's a great example of corporate thinking... for a difference of $300 -- a big deal out of my pocket, but an amount that won't make a bit of difference either way for this big company -- they stand to lose more than that a year from now. Plus, I might have looked to use the service for other clients.
Short-term, short-sighted thinking. Not at all the way to build business by adding new customers...even small ones who might eventually become bigger ones.
Over the years, I've done deals on pricing that have paid off nicely in the long run. I am so glad I am in business for myself and don't have to rely on shortsighted decisions by higher-paid higher-ups.