Monday, February 22, 2016

RSA Vendor Comps and You

With RSA coming up I've been thinking about this because it seems many people on both sides of this don't appear to understand the rules. Which is crazy annoying at best, at worst it makes our industry more scummy if that is possible. I had a vendor who comped me tickets to a conference once literally forward the 6 month old email to me showing it explaining that I had to buy things from him still, after I told him I switched vendors months before. I switched for a very good reason and he made a ton of money from the company before the switch, and I told him all about it, it was all on the up and up but I got this scummy email anyway. I had to reply telling him that wasn't a kickback and no, I don't have to buy anything from him. If the sales guys don't know the difference between a comp and a kickback then we are in trouble. So here goes:

Buyer Rules:

  1. If a vendor offers you RSA tickets (or anything else like dinner or a ballgame for that matter), they want to spend time with you. You should go if you say yes, don't say you are going and no show or send an employee. If you don't want to go just say no thank you. If you want to send an employee tell them and see what they say.
  2. Never lie and say you are interested when you aren't or you can buy something when you know you can't. The vendors don't care just be honest, they will work on the relationship for the long term but hate being lied to.
  3. If a vendor comps you RSA tickets for example, you owe them some of your time, stop by their booth, talk to whoever they want you to talk to. 30 minutes or less should do it.
  4. You don't have to do a long dinner with them if you don't want to, if they offer switch it to a meeting maybe coffee or a beer during happy hour.
  5. Free stuff from booths requires some amount of listening to their pitch but not a lot and if they are taking too much of your time say so and if they won't stop walk away. You are selling your time and if it isn't worth it bail.
  6. You don't owe anyone anything other than some of your time. After that it is done and if they try to guilt you into anything block them and move on.
  7. You can sign up for as many parties as you want and only show up to some, no worries. You are selling your email and they will spam the hell out of you.

Vendor Rules:

  1. If you pay for someone to go to RSA you are buying some of their time while they are there, nothing more, nothing less.
  2. Gifts at booths is to get people to listen to your pitch and get leads, if they get bored you are taking too long or you are selling something they aren't in the market for. That isn't their fault.
  3. No matter how much you give away to someone, they owe you nothing! None of this is a kickback. If they take your free stuff and buy another product or use another vendor, bringing up you bought them a nice dinner or paid for their Expo pass is scummy. 
  4. If you are lied too, simply note that and remember that about that person, there is nothing else you can do.
Buyer Tips:
  1. Sales folks get crazy desperate the last day of the Expo especially the area around the edges where the small booths are and they get way out into the hall and stop you from moving on. Hit the small booth areas early on and avoid them later on.
  2. Stay away from long sales pitch dinners at RSA, there is more fun to be had and you can get those anytime.

Vendor Tips:
  1. Don't give away Expo tickets if you will have no one to talk to the person there, all you are buying is their time.
  2. Don't try to force them into a long dinner, offer coffee or a quick beer in the afternoon instead.
  3. Drawings suck IMHO.
  4. Small useful items are the best.
  5. You don't have to email us and tell us you have a booth at RSA, we know! Seriously. Email us about talks your people are giving or parties you are putting on. But if the email just says visit us at booth #123, then stop and don't send it.

No comments:

Post a Comment