How? Why? Here are some reasons:
- Purchasing is a brick wall that prevents good salespeople from breaking through, so Demand Creators gain a significant advantage.
- Purchasing is the grand commoditizer and, as such, plays right into a Demand Creator's ability to radically differentiate.
- Demand Creators realize that purchasing people are people too, and are motivated just like everyone else. This knowledge allows them to gain significant control in guiding how purchasers make decisions.
If you want to be one of the few (probably less than 5%) of salespeople who know how to gain an advantage, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Purchasers, like everyone else, are motivated by achieving business results. The problem for sellers is that the results they seek often are not in alignment with the purpose of the sellers' core offerings. Your job, as a seller, is to first understand the results that they want, then demonstrate how you can achieve them.
- Purchasers rarely live with the pain that your offering is designed to solve. So, the more you talk about superiority and expertise, the less you are going to impact them. You must talk with purchasers about critical issues for them.
- Most importantly, you need to understand the people in purchasing are responsible for one primary function: purchasing the proper specs at the lowest possible price.
So, if you want to impact the decision without lowering your price, you must get the buying organization to change the specs. Simply put, if you change what it is that purchasing is looking to purchase, then the budget and the decision that purchasing makes will change as well.
To truly succeed when procurement is involved, you must influence the [decision criteria] that determine the specs. You must remember that procurement is not responsible for setting the specs - they're responsible for fulfilling them. Other people, those who live with the pain, set the specs. Make sure you talking to them before they think they know what they want.
Please do not misunderstand this post. I am in no way saying that procurement is unimportant or should be avoided. They should be embraced and supported in the context of enabling your customers to achieve their critical results.