How to Let a Vendor Down Easy

By jbrunsting ·
I've gone through a process where we're trying to choose a vendor. We've narrowed the field from 6 to 2. However, I'm REALLY bad at passing along bad news, and some of these vendors I've already been working with for a couple of months on these initial proposals.

So my question is this: how do I let the 4 we're dropping down easy? I'm not so worried about hurt feelings as I am about professionally burning bridges that we might possibly need later.

Has anyone had this happen to them? Or suggestions of ways of going about it?

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Wrong place...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to How to Let a Vendor Down ...

I think you meant to post that question as a REPLY to the following article:

The place to reply or ask questions is below the article, not on the Ask a Question button.

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No, not the wrong place.

by jbrunsting In reply to Wrong place...

Actually, no I didn't. That article is about cold calls. I'm specifically asking about vendors already far past that. How do I give them the brush-off professionally.

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Let me be more specific

by jbrunsting In reply to How to Let a Vendor Down ...

These vendors have already been through the bidding process, have already sent proposals based on our request for proposal. Now we're deciding who we want to go to. How do I tell the ones we didn't pick?

Do I owe them a phone call? Is an email okay? Should I be old-school and send a physical letter?

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This depends on what you personally want to do

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Let me be more specific

And your own personality.

If you think you need to send them a Letter send them a letter. Provided that this was just a Tender under the proposals set by the company and you are the intermediary between them and this company technically you don't need to do anything.

As to what you say to them the truth I have found always to be the best solution just tell them that their tenders was not successful and that the Company has chosen to go with another company.

However at this stage before a finial decision is made ideally you should do nothing as if something happens down the track that rules out the 2 Tenders that are the Preferred Option at the moment you still need a fall back position and the best for that is the others who have submitted tenders.

However if you expect them to be able to provide the contracted work/goods at short notice you will be sadly mistaken like any process they need a Lead In Time suitable to set themselves up to fulfill whatever the Tender was for. I'm assuming that the time is not yet right to make a Announcement yet so personally I wouldn't be making one.


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I concur ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to This depends on what you ...

Notifying the unsuccessful bidders cannot realistically be done until you HAVE a successful bidder.

Since YOU are not the only company inviting tenders, you might end up awarding a contract to the successful bidder, only to have them apologise that they no longer have the capabilities to honour the contract, due to having been made a better offer by another company.

The corporate environment is like any other facet of life - it does not revolve around you or your company alone.

Any notifications should be held in abeyance until the contract is signed and dated.

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Thank you

by jbrunsting In reply to I concur ...

To both of you. You make a very good point that I, in my worry, was overlooking. You're absolutely right that I should wait before announcing anything. If nothing else, something may happen to disqualify both the final two bidders, which would put the others back into the running. Thank you again!

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Go sell crazy somewhere else? We?re all stocked up here

by Snuffy09 In reply to How to Let a Vendor Down ...

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