A Japanese electronics giant was looking for a UK supplier. A guy running his own shop put himself forward. He got sent information about what they wanted making and tried a few ways of doing it, but the first time he spoke to the Japanese he told them he didn’t think he’d be right as he couldn’t find a way to make it.
The Japanese encouraged him to keep trying. So he did. Later in the procurement process they met again. He showed them what he’d been doing and again declared himself unsuitable.
Imagine his surprise when he learned he had been selected as the supplier! He again retorted ‘but I can’t make it’; but the Japanese replied: ‘we like your attitude. We’ll help you learn how to make it’.
Of course you don’t have to be Japanese to have the right attitude to suppliers.