One of my guilty pleasures as a purchasing professional has always been reading sales educational material. I have always had a passion for knowing how the “other side” is trained and what they are thinking when they meet with us.
Currently, I subscribe to several sales ezines and occasionally find nuggets that can be applied to purchasing. Such was the case when I received this week’s edition of Art Sobczak’s ezine.
In that ezine, Art gives salespeople tips on how to respond to buyers who say “I already have a regular supplier for that.” He teaches salespeople to ask questions such as:
- “What do you do to ensure you’re getting the best prices?”
- “What type of evaluation process do you go through to be sure you’re getting the best service available?”
- “What do you do to keep up with the other latest innovations in that area?”
Is that sneaky salesmanship?
No – it’s brilliant!
In fact, we, as buyers, should be asking ourselves those very same questions regularly. We shouldn’t have to rely on a salesperson to bring them up for us to be thinking those thoughts.
And just think about this…the VP of Purchasing is likely to ask you those same questions. Do you want to be unprepared when s/he does?