Over the past few years as a consultant I’ve learned to take on the well-known Scout Motto, “Be Prepared”. It is important to gather your thoughts and have researched the supplier’s company ahead of time when making that initial call to a supplier on behalf of the client. You wouldn’t go fishing without bringing your line and bait right? Of course it also helps as you learn the ‘big picture’ of the industry at hand.

I believe it was some guy (you know who you are) that said the more confident you are in the conversation the supplier may volunteer more solid information to help aid the sourcing process. Personally, the more knowledgeable about the topic of conversation, the better the results will be in most cases. Showing the supplier you did your homework and came to the game prepared makes for a good relationship foundation and may help both the consultant and supplier on future client’s sourcing needs.

Even if you don’t have the answer to that one minuscule question the supplier throws your way, calmly assure them that you will get the answer and respond back to them promptly. You still prepared yourself to take charge and follow up as needed. That’s one more piece of information you’ll be prepared with for the next fishing trip!
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Tina Lamanna

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  1. You're right... that's true for any conversation where there's potential for gain on your end (job interviews, any kind of networking event, etc.)!