“Here’s my biggest frustration” “Being told we’ve been beaten on price, then receiving vague feedback. Yes, that old chestnut. I’ll ask if we were close, far away, how did we rank against other quotes, and usually the response is vague ‘you were competitive but not the cheapest’ or ‘you were close on some prices but far away on others’.“ This is what one of the readers of my “views from the buyer” newsletter told me recently. She was wondering what how to approach this problem. It’s time to be tough with clients
Today’s buyers work in new ways Many of today’s buyers are making most of their purchasing decisions on the internet. They will approach the supplier, not the other way round. In fact, people have often found their preferred supplier long in advance of needing to use them. Many companies have not yet caught up with this change in buying behavior, especially if they are involved in business sales. Today’s sales activity often does not take the modern buyer into account
How do you achieve what you are being asked to? These days I see many people being given total freedom in what they do. This applies especially in sales. In one way this is great. No one is telling you what to do. As long as you achieve the right results, you choose how you get there. But sometimes, being left on your own is hard. Freedom isn’t always as great as it’s made out to be
Do you know when a sales goal has gone off course? For many people it’s too late when they discover this. They realize that they are not going to make their figures when it’s too late to do anything about it. They find out that it’s all gone wrong at the end of their sales period. It should not be difficult to work out that things are going wrong. The signs are often visible at an early point in the sales process. The trouble is that many sales people just do not have the tools to see that they are…
Two continents: US and UK. Two different buying backgrounds: procurement and agency. Two alternative ways of looking at things. I’m delighted to have teamed up with Deborah Corn from PrintMediaCentr to bring two extremely different views to some important print questions. So welcom e to Print Buying: #UKvUSA where Deborah and I share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond. At the end of this post I have linked to Deborah’s answer to the same question. We wrote our answers (each limited to 500 words) without any idea of what the other was writing. As Deborah says:…
I have some interesting feedback from someone who tried to buy print I recently spoke to David Baldaro from Cross Media Consultancy Ltd. He had been trying to buy print for a couple of projects. He’s a typical buyer that we might encounter today (albeit with a print industry background). His experiences were not what we would hope for. I have shared the thoughts that he sent to me and some lessons that printing companies can take from this.
Have you ever made the sale and then lost it straight away? I’ve heard a number of instances recently where sales people have closed the deal with a prospect. But then nothing has happened. The promised business has not appeared. On closer investigation it has turned out that the prospect has got cold feet at the last minute. It’s not that they distrust the sales person. Rather, they are afraid to break up with their old supplier. An essential part of the sales process is to help customers commit
Do you make the most of LinkedIn? Many people I know are completely underutilizing this platform. Often, people simply have a profile on the site, connect with a few others and then do no more. This is a shame, as there is so much opportunity to profit from LinkedIn. So here’s a quick checklist of what you should be doing on LinkedIn.
What happens if you don’t have a difference? Imagine seeing three similar items in a shop. They all look pretty much the same. Which one will you choose? Nearly everyone will choose the cheapest. When it comes to choosing a print supplier, it’s a comparable situation. The majority of printing company sales messages sound pretty much the same these days. It is one of the major reasons why buyers choose so much on price. If you don’t have a difference you will end up in a price war
Have you recently lost a job on price? Perhaps one of your competitors has just won a job from you with their cheaper price. If this is the case, you may not feel particularly kindly towards the buyer. But let’s be fair, the buyer was only doing their job. Buyers are tasked with trying to reduce costs for their companies. The most common way to do this is look for the lowest price possible for a product. But buyers tend to choose on price for one particular type of product