Which companies are only working to make sales?

distributionHow salespeople increase sales

When it comes to acquiring new customers, the approach taken by salespeople is often: "We'll get in there with a low price." This approach is only recommended if the customer is ultimately indifferent to who is delivering: the main thing is that the price is right. However, this only applies to goods that have the same quality from all suppliers and that are of little relevance to the customer's performance.

This is different for services and capital goods that are important for the performance and performance of the customer. As a new supplier, you won't get very far here with “dumping offers”. Rather, for example, a plant manager who receives an offer with a low price thinks: "Shit, if our purchasing manager forces me to accept this offer, I have to modify the work processes, reprogram the NC program, and, and, and ... In short: That means extra work for me. ”So he called the previous supplier and said:“ Go down with your price, then we'll stay in business. ”

The seller does not get very far with “competitive prices”. Rather, he has to build a relationship with the decision-makers at potential new customers. First he has to determine: Who is involved in the purchase decision? And who are the key people in this process? The seller must systematically develop a relationship with these people. For example, by meeting with them regularly - not to sell them something directly, but to exchange ideas with them, to talk about market developments or the challenges the customer is currently facing.

If the contact intensifies over time, a key person with the customer will certainly say at some point: “It's good that you are here right now. We have one thing that is worrying us. ... What would you suggest? ”The door to the customer's“ wallet ”opens a crack, and the supplier has the chance to prove his capabilities with a first order. If he then offers the potential customer a suitable solution with recognizable benefits, the customer gradually gains confidence in the competence of the new supplier and enters into a "customer-supplier relationship" with him.

Many sellers are not sufficiently aware of these connections of “strategic selling”. They often lack the patience for such an approach. So your superiors should convey this to them. In addition, they should agree on milestones with them on the way to "great success" - not only to be able to measure the progress in the customer relationship, but also so that their employees already have a sense of achievement on the way to their goal. Otherwise, at some point, they will throw the gun in the grain, disappointed. Such milestones could be: “I meet five potential major customers regularly to exchange experiences”. Or: “I'm visiting companies with two potential customers that are already working with our products”.