I enjoyed working at my old company (a very large international company), where we made hitech equipment that was universally recognised within the industry. It was both top end and mass market.
Although we used a dealer network, we would sometimes negotiate a large order directly and then organise the supply through a dealer.
It was always fun having these pompous buyers come on the line, we'd like you to tender for this and this is the hundred and one hoops that we'd like you to jump through, plus we'd like a year to pay for it and we want to buy it at cost + 5%. Or it would be, we sent you a tender by post last month, we don't seem to have had a reply to it, "we decided not to tender for it Mr.Buyer". What do you mean you're not going to tender for it, "what part of not interested do you not understand", but you haven't replied to use to state that you're not going to tender, "correct and we have no intention of wasting time or postage telling you that we aren't going to tender, now, was there anything else?".
Then you would hear the coughing and spluttering, as they got rather indignant, as mister puffed up buyer of self importance went a nice shade of red. The funny thing was, that much of the time they needed or wanted our kit. It was the best, the most reliable, we had next day delivery on parts, a fairly no quibble warranty backed up by a nationwide dealer network. Of course those things all cost money and you need to make a decent margin to be able to maintain them.
After a short time, we'd get a call, saying that they really wanted to have a price for our kit, to which the answer was, "send us a request for a quote and will reply with a price". We'd send them a quote back with 'X' price, delivery via your local dealer, to your warehouse and PDI'd. The sensible ones would then just send in a purchase order and that would be job sorted.
But there was always the odd one, that would start putting stuff on the purchase order that wasn't agreed. So it would go in the round file. Then we'd get a call, where's my order "not as agreed, we've decided not to supply", but you can't, I've sent you a purchase order "we decide where and to whom we supply and we have declined the order". Followed by a quick call to the dealer, to warn him that if he supplies the company/utility, that he is on his own, no goodwill support, only what was in our standard terms and conditions. Then another quick call to all the area managers to warn them to let their major dealers know what the situation was and steer clear.
It was always enjoyable to put some of these upstart buyers back in their box, who seemed to enjoy making life as unpleasant as possible for their suppliers. And if they were as much of a pita before they purchased, god knows what they were going to be like afterwards and you could tell that it was probably the culture of the company.
So, your comment about choosing your tenders wisely, made me smile.