Nationwide’s Kelly has often urged members to make sure they control their own sales floor and monitor the spifs in play. Additionally, he warns that buyers’ personal ties to vendors and their reps can woo them into purchases that might be bad for the company.
“All business has got some form of personal relationship,” says Kelly. “A good buyer has got to make sure he’s controlling that. There are times you make a buy to help a sales rep meet a quota—as long as it doesn’t choke you. But if you don’t manage it, it will eat you alive. When you are working with 20 to 30-some vendors, it’s a very tough thing to say ‘no’ sometimes.”