We had some laughs in our previous article, why energy suppliers swipe right on brokers but now let’s get a little bit more serious. Energy brokers and suppliers have a complex relationship based on honesty, expertise, and professionalism. To make the most of that relationship, brokers employ certain strategies to reach productive and mutually beneficial business results with their suppliers. However, some brokers possess undeniable “red flags” — unfavorable traits or practices that energy suppliers should be aware of before establishing a relationship. Just like you probably wouldn’t swipe right on someone who says they haven’t showered in a few months (at least, we hope you wouldn’t!), suppliers don’t swipe right on brokers with other telltale warning signs. Here are the types of brokers that suppliers tend to avoid:
The Disingenuous Bidder
Some brokers submit RFPs solely to discover the current market pricing — not to close a deal for a customer. Not only is this a surefire way to lose an energy supplier’s trust, but it’s also a huge waste of time and resources. Brokers need to keep a pulse on the state of the market, but this is best accomplished by forging genuine relationships with suppliers.
The Price Gouger
Price gouging refers to the shady practice of charging exorbitant commission fees. Your broker shouldn’t make you go broke! What’s more, a broker should not ask a supplier to discount their prices to win a deal without considering lowering their own fee as well, or suppliers will steer clear. Energy suppliers are looking for partners who want the whole team to win.
The Relentless Refresher
Refreshing a pricing request is an unavoidable part of the energy procurement business. Customers get busy, new priorities come up, or markets change leading to new prices. However, brokers who constantly request refreshes for weeks on end give the impression that they have little chance of closing the deal. Energy suppliers will eventually become fed up and deprioritize them. Set clear expectations with the supplier about where the deal is at and see if they can help to close the business.
The Detail Disoriented
Though they might not seem like much, even the tiniest of details — like a mismatching customer name and tax ID — can cause hours of unnecessary headaches for suppliers. A mismatching name and tax ID is one of the most manual and time-consuming components of the procurement process. Energy brokers who let these details slip through the cracks are to be avoided.
The Poor Quality Control Manager
Undoubtedly, energy suppliers will invest in a broker with a demonstrated track record of bringing in new business. But if that incoming business is poor quality? Suppliers will show you the door. Quality always trumps quantity, and suppliers are guaranteed to prefer smaller volumes of low-risk customers — those who pay consistently and on time — over high volumes of high-risk customers with poor credit.