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I guess that works for this guy, but as someone in a big enterprise, I'd be really annoyed with a vendor that is venue shopping. An an outsider, you have no idea what the internal politics of the organization are. Getting blindsided because some salesman took my colleague to lunch is a great way to get a project derailed. (The conversation can shift to "how do we implement product x" instead of "how do we solve problem y")

The sales teams that I've worked with for years (as opposed to the sales teams that aren't around anymore) have something in common -- they focus on building a relationship, figuring out wtf is going on, and bringing solutions to the table.

Other anti-patterns:

- Hyper-aggressive (ie Oracle): Their mission is to be a pain in the ass and sell your CEO a bill of goods. Your relationship is by definition adversarial.

- Mistargeted (ie Dropbox): Friendly people call every now and again. They never answer my question ("Is Dropbox on a state procurement contract?"), and don't understand why the answer they don't know is important to me.

- Wheeler-dealers: I ask for a product demo, we get it, followed by a cold quote for $3M for an off the shelf product. I don't respond, and get an unsolicited quote that is now $2M. I usually reply with an email that says "Not gonna happen."

I'm surprised to see Oracle on the anti-pattern list. Though their tactics sound aggravating, they've made an incredible amount of money from it. It seems hard to argue with those sort of results.

What is a state procurement contract?

A contract that a state budget office signs with approved vendors. The budget office vets a set of vendors for, say, copy machines. Every office in the state then has to purchase from one of those vendors for their copy machine needs.

It's a fraud protection thing. It prevents one of the many many tiny offices from funneling money through a phony vendor.

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