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How To Effectively Badger Better Service Out of Your Suppliers

The Problem Identified

Ok, so badgering may not be the best way to get better service from suppliers, but you’re working hard to make deadlines and you need your suppliers to provide you with outstanding service so you can in turn produce WOW! level service to your customers. Right? But, I realized I was spending a lot of my valuable time on the phone fixing problems, motivating, and checking up on orders.

What You Get From this Article

If you are experiencing this same challenge I’m going to give you seven communication techniques that will help you get better service from your suppliers and seven proven ways to build great supplier support.

The Problem Experienced

Here’s just a few examples of situations I encountered in just one month. It may be too painful for you to read, but this is only the half of it.

  • My mechanic didn’t call me to let me know when my truck was repaired
  • My music store didn’t call me to tell me my parts were in
  • An auto dealership rescheduled a repair, not once but three times
  • A loan officer at my bank I had never met, who I didn’t know I had, who knew nothing of me or my business, said my business didn’t couldn’t qualify for an online service
  • My lawn mower broke and the repair shop said the warranty wouldn’t pay when it was still in effect
  • My printer didn’t call me to let me know my printing was ready to be picked up
  • The steel company didn’t call me to let me know my order was in
  • My sign company didn’t let me know my graphics were ready and then the order was wrong
  • One supplier said the item they quoted me was the wrong one and my cost would be thirty percent higher

Finally I had had it. I started being confrontational and it often wasn’t pretty. I got everything from blank stares to defensive arguments, from a litany of excuses to apologies. However, I recognized I was getting angry too quick and I also recognized how much energy the confrontational approach was taking out of me. So, I decided to move toward a controlled reaction that better matched the right amount of push against the right amount of problem. I identified the following seven levels of communication designed to get me better results.

Solving The Problem

Here’s my seven levels of pushback leading up to DEFCON 1.

7 – First, be sweet, smile and make a request, “Will you . . . ?”

6 – Next, be nice, ask polite, but set clear expectations: “Can you . . . by this time . . . ?”

5 – Calm, but serous, no smile: “I need thus by this time. Can you do it?

4 – The edgy push with my I mean business voice. “I asked for this. What problem can I help you solve? I need this done! Can you do it?

3 – The confrontational voice: “I asked for this, but I got this. I talked with so and so on this date at this time and they confirmed. Why is this not done? This is not according to my order? You did not follow through. I need to talk with your supervisor.

2 – The Mister Mean level. I raise my voice a little, make a little scene, throw a slight emotional tantrum. “I made it quite clear. Why did you not do what you said you would do? Why did you not think? Owner, please. (oh, oh. Careful, not too far)

DEFCON 1 – Sever the relationship. “I am really disappointed in you. You will no longer be getting my business.” Then forgive AND forget and move on.

Be Part of the Solution – Not Part of the Problem

Now let’s turn the tables and talk about seven ways you can help your suppliers.

  1. First of all, don’t move down the confrontation levels too quickly, you could end up with egg on your face if you discover you didn’t ask for the right thing.
  2. Be less instant oriented. Think further in the future and leave yourself more time, relax. Use the I-need-it-now approach sparingly, only when desperately needed and you’ll get better service.
  3. Start a project much earlier than you think you need to. If you slow down, you think deeper, catch problems quicker, and you will be more thorough with suppliers about what you need.
  4. Keep copious notes. In this day and age you just have to do this. I know, you shouldn’t have to, but you need to keep detailed notes of who, when, and what. I found suppliers trying to get off the hook by asking, “Who did you talk to?” I get better service when my suppliers realize I keep names, dates, times and hold people accountable.
  5. Follow up with a quick email. Written orders and instructions are a must.
  6. Get to know your suppliers on a more personal level. Take the time to smile, chit chat and make a personal connection. They will do better receiving your correction in the future, if they know you and feel you are a valued customer.
  7. Know both the frontline people and the owners. Know those who have the authority to “bend the rules” and treat people more softly who are the frontline employees who have to keep their boss’s rules to keep their jobs.

You can build a great business by being a great communicator with suppliers. Now go succeed  with your small business, big time!

Sam Into the Deep


Samuel Lee Bowman is an author, blogger, speaker, business man, a home based business expert, and a leading provider of family entertainment for special events. Sam is all about helping home based business leaders achieve the life they dream of with wisdom and practical strategies at 


3 Practical Activators That Allow Faith to Release Your Blessing

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3 Practical Activators That Allow Faith to Release Your Blessing

By Samuel Lee Bowman

When we think of Abraham we think of faith. The problem is once you define faith a certain way then Abraham’s life is always viewed through that lens, and the problem with that is revelation stops flowing through his story because we cycle round and round the same old points. Pretty soon our eyes gloss over the story, our minds rush through the story, and our faith doesn’t grow because God’s fresh, transforming voice into our hearts goes silent. If faith comes by hearing we need to turn our spiritual hearing aids back on and get a fresh word, right?

So let’s turn the hearing aid up in Genesis chapter twelve through eighteen by looking at three things:

  1. The usual view of Abraham’s life
  2. A new definition of faith
  3. Three outer actions that reveal inner position

We’ll finish by tying the three together to reveal a new, vibrant understanding of what faith is and how to use it to break strongholds and move forward in your vision.

The Usual View of Abraham’s Life

Here’s the usual story points on Abraham:

  • God speaks to Abram
  • He messes up with his handmaiden
  • He has trouble with Lot
  • Sarah laughs at God
  • Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed
  • Names are changed
  • Sara and Abraham finally have a child
  • Abraham’s faith is credited to him as righteousness
  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for

All these points are accurate, but we are cycling through the same old points and we need need God’s fresh voice that breaks the strongholds in your life. So let’s look for a radical, new definition of what faith is.

A New Definition of Faith

Most Christians define faith by quoting the scripture, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), but have no practical definition.

Let’s define faith in this applicable way: Faith is a position before God, that you take by choice, based on two things: 1) What you think God is really like (which is the substance), and 2) What you are convinced God will actually do (which is the evidence).

Two Positions – One Weakens Faith, One Builds Faith

There are two positions you can take before God and the one you choose determines how powerful and effective your faith works.

Position one is a law position. In this position:

  • God is really big, way beyond me and distant
  • He is approached only by being pleased
  • I must please Him by keeping all His rules
  • I can’t keep all the rules, so He is hard to please
  • Because I am flawed He must judge me
  • I will always be making mistakes
  • His favor comes only after I am perfected by trial
  • What I will get from God is unpredictable

In this position if you do not please God and get in His good favor He won’t cause you to be blessed. As a result the faith of the believer is weakened because they must, like Abram, find their way to blessing through their own effort.

Position two is a grace based position and it looks like this:

  • God is very close and approachable
  • God is approached based on how Jesus pleases God, not how I please God
  • Jesus always keeps all the rules for me, so God is always pleased with me
  • God doesn’t not see my flaws, because Jesus was judged for me in my place
  • None of my mistakes matter because Jesus is perfect for me
  • Trials aren’t necessary because Jesus took all the trials for me, His perfection is my perfection
  • I can safely predict that God will bless me because Jesus’s blessing is my blessing and He is always blessed because He is always perfect before God on my behalf

Which ever position your faith is based in will absolutely effect how you act in your relationship with God and in your life choices, especially when the pressure is on.

Three Outer Actions That Reveal Inner Position

There are three outer actions that reveal whether law or grace is your default inner position:

  • Courage
  • Tenacity
  • Integrity

Now open your Bible, reread Genesis chapter twelve through eighteen and look for these three being put into operation in Abraham. What new insights jump off the page? In Chapter twelve was he a man of courage? Was he tenacious in his belief that God would do what He said He would do? Did he treat the people around him with integrity?

The Pressure That Brings Transformation

Right after God’s first word there came pressure in the form of a famine. This fallen world will always challenge the believer, who has received a promise from God, to persistently stand in the promise. Was faith bounteous in Abraham at this point or was there a famine of faith in his heart? The outer famine of the land revealed the inner famine of Abraham’s heart.

Since Abraham’s world is your world this same pattern will happen to you; promise, pressure and position. How you position yourself before God in the pressure determines how effective your faith will be in moving you toward your promise.

While Jesus has totally provided for your blessing it remains as a legal contract until it is pulled into the real world by the strength of your faith and that grows only as your understanding of your grace contract grows. The process of growth in Abraham’s faith was a process that took twenty five years. You must learn to let the Holy Spirit teach you and transform you from the inside out, however long it takes. Move your faith up faster by increasing your understanding of your grace contract!

The next pressure came when Abraham had to expose his most precious commodity, his beautiful wife, who would be the conduit for his blessing, to powerful and unscrupulous people who could force him to do anything they wanted. Under this pressure was Abraham tenacious in his belief that God would do what He said? That inner condition was revealed in how he failed to treat Pharaoh with integrity. Under pressure Abraham lied.

A New Abraham Emerges

By chapter eighteen we see Abraham dealing with Lot in a whole new way than he did with Pharaoh. He gives Lot the choice and leaves his own fate in God’s hands. Abraham has grown! Then we see him talking with God about the sinful cities in a whole new type of conversation, revealing a new understanding of what God was really like, and therefore how he can be interacted with. This reveals a whole new outlook in Abraham about how God treats people; not harshly, but with love, kindness, patience and forgiveness.

It is after Abraham has changed his inner position before God that he then excels in outer action as revealed in the big three of keys to success. He has the courage to let Lot choose. He shows tenacity in his negotiation over the sinful cities. His integrity is revealed in how he deals with the visiting high priest. Now God puts His original promise on a timeline saying Sarah will have a baby “about this time next year.”  All this after twenty five years.

This twenty five year period does not reveal Abraham’s shortcomings, but God’s long suffering. This extended period of time is not about who Abraham isn’t. It’s about who God is. God is kind, patient and very gracious and will never give up on you. He is willing to put in the time, never, ever rejecting you, as you work to act out your faith and falter. Instead He is working with you to mature you until you can face the pressure with courage, stand persistently under pressure with tenacity and challenge the pressure with integrity, God has now created in you someone he can use to redeem a fallen world.

In Hebrews chapter eleven’s list of world changers we consistently see all three: unusual courage, dogged tenacity and uncompromising integrity. He has given you your vision to send you to into the battle and He has set these three as the tools to make transfers from his storehouse into your life. Your understanding of your grace covenant allows you to go for it without reservation, knowing God will always forgive and cause everything, even your mistakes, to work for your good and allow you to break strongholds, move forward in God’s vision for your life and become a world changer.