It’s that time of year when people start thinking about annual awards. Let’s put this particular one to rest. Trust me, you do not want to “win” the vendor of the year award. I don’t care the customer’s criteria nor how much you like them receiving “vendor of the year.” It’s just wrong! It’s like having your picture on the cover of a Sports Illustrated magazine – you’re picked and then you lose.

Why do companies even give out these types of awards? The answer is simple: they want to somehow make the vendor feel good about bending over backwards to give the customer everything they want. They want others to drool over the award and how they create a better partnership with the customer next year, so they can win. Maybe the award should be called: “suckers we want you to be jealous and give us everything next year.”

I remember meeting with a VP of Sales and him sharing about all of the awards they had received during his time as VP. Each award had a story that involved his ego and how he had saved a relationship. The stories ranged from the mildly interesting to quite frankly, painful. He was quick to tell me that the CEO was in awe of the accolades, and they were a key reason why he was able to get anything he wanted for his sales team. When I left the office, I wanted to take a shower to get all the stink off of me that I had heard.