Ever been on a bad date? Silly question, I know. We all have! Likewise, you may agree that sometimes we realize what the ‘right’ thing to do is by, well, struggling through all the ‘wrongs’ first.

Now friends, it’s safe to say that a variety of colorful memes have fueled me to write this snarky piece. However, if you follow the – well, the opposite of everything said below – you stand a good chance at expanding your network of valuable vendors and business relationships.

But if you want to lose a vendor in 10 days, by all means, follow the instructions below!

1. Name Calling: First off, make sure to always refer to them as vendors, as they love this (not!). Never refer to them as partners, colleagues – or any other term that may indicate a mutually beneficial relationship – because nothing says longevity better than keeping your partners at a safe distance. Plus, it isn’t like this is a long-term thing anyway…

2. Don’t waste time shopping: This isn’t Black Friday, after all. Always go with your gut! Never shop around or compare vendors, and referrals from colleagues should be staunchly ignored. Spin the bottle was a fun game back in the day….amiright?

3. Communication: Never, and I mean NEVER, establish clear expectations of communication up front. A good vendor should also be a good mind reader, anticipating your every expectation… If you must communicate, make sure it is via email only. Everyone loves a brief, impersonal note added to a stack of (already) unread messages.

4. Understanding their business: Don’t waste your time trying to understand your vendor’s business. THEY are the vendor, so isn’t it their job to understand YOUR business? Plus, you are probably their only client anyway.

5. Accountability: Don’t EVER assume accountability. Just because your timeline, budget or scope of work changes doesn’t mean they get off the hook! I mean, c’mon adulting is totally overrated…

6. Payment: Hey, we all read Rich Dad Poor Dad, so pay yourself first! Your vendors can wait. If there is one thing that won’t ruin a relationship, it’s money. Oh wait…

7. Contracts: No need to go through these with a fine-tooth comb. Your vendor will bend to any changes you need to make along the way, no questions asked. Have a little faith, why don’t ya?!

8. Point person: Having one person to manage all your vendor relationships is B-O-R-I-N-G. Keep your vendors guessing by having multiple people within your organization reach out to them with a slew of different requests. That way, if/when confusion strikes you can always avoid it! Speaking of responsibility…

9. Responsibilities: Understanding where your responsibilities end and your vendor’s begin can be confusing. Assuming that everything is their responsibility is probably a safe bet.

10. Evaluating results: Meh, it’ll all work out in the end… What’s that they say about measurement?

So there you have it. If you want to lose a vendor in 10 days – or less – just follow these 10 steps! If you value your business relationships, you may want to take the opposite approach!


Nick is an Account Executive with Creative Circle Denver. His background is in recruiting, sales, PR and marketing.