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.
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