Seth Godin is point on with this blog:
"I was at a conference recently where the senior executives spent the entire day talking about profits, market share and growth... they never once mentioned that the pharmaceuticals they were selling were saving lives, or that changes in the product or its pricing could reduce side effects or the load on the patient and her doctor."
Too much focus on the money. That's why everything is a commodity. Seth goes on to make a point that some of you are experiencing with your vendors, like Cisco:
"Many businesses focus exclusively on saving money (or so they think) when they publish an RFP and take bids for this product or that service. It's only later when they discover the sticky gas pedal or the customer angry about a stock out that they realize that paying attention to their suppliers beyond price is a good idea."
At the end of the day, it's more about Value and Communication than it is just price.
I get hit up for just price quotes all the time. And some of these customers go direct to the carriers too - just to see who has a better deal. Well, wholesale direct will beat my prices all the time, so please, while I appreciate the thought, why waste everyone's time? I'm not the cheapest. My value is that I will actually make sure that you know what is going on throughout the provisioning process and afterward I will be there to fix billing errors and outages. I think that's worth the delta between wholesale and retail, especially when I just spent 3 days listening to my customers bitch about the unresponsiveness of their account team. Well, you get what you pay for.