At one of SPASigma’s recent event – The Battle for Margin, a two-day seminar developed to assist distributors in growing their gross margins. Much of the seminar revolved around negotiating with buyers. During one of the breaks, Frank Hurtte, Jr. had the opportunity to speak to several distributor salespeople who candidly shared their experiences with buyers. Excerpts of the article authored by Frank who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales follow.
“Last week we wrote about the right activities for tough economic times. One of our points was the need for improved negotiations training with our salespeople.”
“….major industrial firms have gone public with their plans to squeeze their supply chain. Some have noticed, they can get additional discounts just by “asking” for them. Customer purchasing types are going to negotiate with our sellers and we need to be prepared. Based on my observations, most distributor salespeople have not received proper negotiations training in recent history.”
“In a short discussion over a cup of coffee, we came up with the twelve most common comments heard from professional purchasing types.”
In my thousands of sales calls with distributor people, I have only seen a few who stood their ground when they heard one of these comments. The truth is, most stutter and stumble around on price objections like they were hearing them for the first time.
“Purchasing professionals are trained to ask for lower prices. Even the smallest concession is a win. What are you doing to train your guys on the answer to these comments?”
Last time it cost less than that…
You’re close, but this is competitive…
You’re just a little out of the ballpark this time.
You’re going to need to better than that…
Click here to read the complete article as Frank offers suggestions on how to address these.
SPASigma is a new program to build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization. Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art and science of negotiation.
SPASigma’s parent company, Strategic Pricing Associates (SPA) is the leading provider of pricing analytics to complex companies around the world. Since 1993, SPA has helped companies quickly and easily maximize their pricing performance and competitive position. A typical client improves profitability by two to four percent of sales. The benefits are staggering; and they are typically accomplished in less than 90 days.
But pricing is only half the battle. That’s where SPASigma comes in.
SPASigma provides a path to negotiation mastery.
Negotiation is like a sport. It requires specific skills, techniques, training, coaching, equipment and continuous practice. SPASigma offers the systematic, holistic, long-term approach professional business people need in order to achieve true mastery of this critical skill-set.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
What does success mean to you? More money, more power, bigger orders, higher customer satisfaction, strong business relationships, and hey, maybe even getting a sweet deal when you buy a new car. Whatever your version of success is, SPASigma makes it that much better.
HOW IT WORKS?
SPASigma believes in a powerful new concept called “Edutainment.” Human beings learn better when they’re having a good time. Our action packed one day seminar is guaranteed to make you laugh and keep you fully engaged. No death by PowerPoint and no hours upon hours of lecture. Our seminars are fast paced, interactive and, of course, eye opening.
Click here to read “An Interview with Tony Perzow – Negotiation Strategy Expert”
Owners and Management
Sales & Marketing Professionals
Type of negotiation hurdles addressed?
“You need to do better than that”
“Your competition is a lot cheaper”
“This is all the money I have in my budget”
“Your competition wouldn’t treat us this way”
“I need your best price by 4pm today”
If you have ever heard any of these statements above, you need to participate in a SPASigma Competitive Negotiation Seminar.
Learn how to…
Plan and Prepare
Probe for information
Use powerful tactics as well countermeasures
Talk value and not price
Properly make concessions
Take more risk
Increase opponent satisfaction and a lot more
Click here to learn more and find a negotiation seminar in your area.
The following are just a few of the many testimonials our clients have been willing to share publically. We hope they inspire you to explore the power of strategic pricing.
Select Client Testimonials
“When we were initially considering implementing SPA strategic pricing, a major concern of ours was its impact on sales. Many of us were convinced our customers would react negatively and go elsewhere. Most of us were more hopeful, but still uncertain as to what the cumulative impact would be. The bottom line was that customer push back was almost non-existent and lost sales were insignificant.”
“So far our experience has been that most customers do not realize that you have changed your pricing strategies. The exceptions to this have been very few.”
– Tom Comstock, CEO | Rawsons
“I can say that our customer calls and complaints have been very, very few; less than a 20 calls across our thousands of customers and their transactions. I can also say that the potential gain is far greater than any friction that may be created by the system.”
– Tom Falter, Pricing Director | The Echo Group
“Anyone who is thinking about SP implementation will naturally have some concerns about potential customer push-back. We have had some push-back but it has been very minimal. We have had many more issues with push back from our sales force because of the cultural change we had. We have not lost any measurable business due to SP. On the contrary, we are seeing margin improvements, particularly in the Small and Tiny category. In this time of a difficult economy, that is huge for us.
A potential user needs to keep in mind a couple of things.
1) The data that SPA uses to measure and recommend pricing comes from their actual data. SP’s analytics does an outstanding job of making recommendations. We had fewer than 100 changes to their recommendations when we implemented.
2) It is time to fully utilize that sales notion that slower moving items should have a greater gross margin premium on them. Customers are fully aware of pricing on fast moving items but are not as aware on slow moving items.
Even with SPA’s recommendations, they are the first to tell you that you need to evaluate, review and test their recommendations. Each company has to evaluate their particular business, circumstances and market to make a decision. We talked to a number of users before we made the “move”. Their message was the same . . . minimal push back from the customer.
Hope this helps.”
– Larry McMullin, Corporate Controller | Harry Cooper Supply Co.
Click here to read more testimonials about the impact on sales and customers.