Mid-market CIOs often feel like they\u2019re not receiving full attention from their vendors. After all, the big guys have more money to spend and more staff to help manage vendor relationships. This means if you're a mid-market CIO, you need to get a bit crafty. At our recent leadership conference, some CIOs\u00a0shared their strategies. Check them out --and please, add your own tips and tricks.\u00a0 I\u2019ll also share the best advice in an upcoming print article.\u00a0 By the way, several midmarket CIOs told me at the leadership conference that they\u2019ve yet to feel the love that some of the biggest name vendors,\u00a0including SAP and Oracle, are proclaiming for them at the moment. These vendors are making big marketing pushes for midmarket customers --\u00a0now that they\u2019ve won over as many Fortune 1000 companies as possible. But from the midmarket customer point-of-view, it\u2019s still at the stage of talk, not walk. It\u2019ll be interesting to see how that changes by late this year, given the expected debut of new SAP on-demand services for midmarket companies in the fall. Now onto the tips:1. Share your business plan.\u00a0 \u201cI am very much into collaboration and find sharing your future business plans often helps the vendor understand just what is at stake,\u201d says Sandy Rasel, Vice President, Global Process and Applications Management, McCormick and Company. \u201cIf you share your plans, you are able to have a much richer dialogue that supports your future direction and engages the vendor to work with you.\u201d 2. When negotiating, Google first. You\u2019ll be amazed what you can find when you search on a particular hardware part number or software package, says a mid-market CIO who uses this tactic repeatedly, most recently when purchasing a WAN acceleration device and some high-end analysis software. (He prefers his vendors don\u2019t know he\u2019s hip to this trick, so we agreed not to share his name.) \u201cYou will be surprised how many people scan invoices or leave price data online,\u201d he says. This should help you determine reasonable discounts. 3. Whet the vendor\u2019s appetite. Hint at potential growth within your parent company organization if the price is right and the product is excellent, says Jeremy Schnorbus, director of technology services for NERA Economic Consulting.4. Be the early bird who gets the beta. Offer to help some of your vendors do testing on new versions of products. This can help you get a say in the development of the tool, plus an early heads-up to new functionality, Schnorbus says.5. Show \u2018em the competition.\u00a0 \u201cOne of the best things we\u2019ve done is a vendor appreciation day event.\u00a0 Typically this is a golf outing that includes everything from prizes and lunches to a first-class lobster dinner,\u201d says Kevin Lupowitz, CIO for Liquidnet Holdings. \u201cLast year\u2019s was a huge success.\u00a0 Very few organizations do this type of \u2018no strings attached\u2019 event for their vendors.\u00a0 It builds great partnerships and individual loyalty.\u00a0 It also lets our vendors see who else we\u2019re working with, which helps maintain the sense of urgency to stay competitive.\u201d6. Poach a sales rep who wants an entr\u00e9e to IT. Hire away one of the vendor\u2019s sales reps to work for you, to manage your relationship with that vendor. After all, he or she will know all the players, processes and angles for that vendor\u2019s sales operation.7. Play the Google card. Let vendors know that you\u2019re interested in the current and future apps that Google has to offer. Better still, consider having a meeting with Google and several other CIOs to discuss Google Apps, then let your vendors know you liked it.Did you get a new idea from this list? Great.\u00a0Now\u00a0let's hear what's working for you.