The Research is in, the Customer has Spoken, Are YOU Listening?

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 21-11-2008

The latest research is in from your current and prospective customers and I hope you are paying attention. Let’s look at some questions and their respective responses from business decision makers.

“If your supplier was often later than promised with their deliveries, what would you do?”
#1 – Start looking for a new supplier. (45%)

“If you could save money by having your delivery shipped later, which delivery option would you use?”
#1 – 3-5 Day Delivery (95%)
#2 – 1-2 Day Delivery (55%)

“What are the top three things (benefits) you need to gain approval to purchase from an independent dealer?”
#1 – Lower Prices on Key Items than the National Chains (84%)
#2 – Guaranteed On-time Delivery (83%)
#3 – Fewer out-of-stock items than the national chains (76%)
#3 – A website that’s at least as good as the national chains (Tie – 76%)

“What do independent dealers need to do to increase your awareness of them?”
#1 – Send a NET priced Catalog (58%)
#2 – Email Flyers (NET) (Tie – 58%)
#3 – Email featuring NET prices (48%)
#4 – Mail NET Prices (35%)

“What is your preferred Method of Receiving Information?”
#1 – Email (75%)
#2 – Postal Mail of Special Flyer (33%)

“What percentage of your orders are placed online?”
#1 – 81%-99% = 31% of respondents
#2 – 100% = 20% of respondents

“Expectations of Future Web only ordering?”
Increase – 31%
Stay the same – 68%

Products delivered when promised. Lower prices on the top 20 most common items with fewer out-of-stock products. Give them a catalog with their price and a great ordering website and communicate via email. It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult to get new business does it? Don’t you think these are pretty simple requests?

Are you meeting the needs of your customer/prospect?

The last word: “There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.”Denis Waitley

Sell By Understanding Soft Costs

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 13-11-2008

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If you’re not educated on selling to your customers on soft costs of doing business then you are loosing potential business every day. Soft costs are the costs incurred in the process of placing a supply order such as:

Product Selection
Vendor Selection
Price identification
Charge back

Every company goes through most of not all of these steps each time they make a purchase. When analyzing these processes the average medium sized business spends as much as 18.5 hours of on the job time completing the process. If you assume an hourly pay rate of $12 an hour then that single order just added $222 to the cost of your business. If a company is buying supplies from an average of 4 vendors every month that is adding more than $400 a month in non-productive expenses to your operating costs. These soft costs can be easily controlled by procurement from a single source supplier.

I can promise you that our big box competitors are out in your market aggressively presenting this kind of cost containment information to your customers! You need to proactively discuss these transactional costs to your customers and show them how they can save these costs by doing business with a single supplier.

Think like a customer, be a consultant and demonstrate the value of doing business with you and your company. Understanding costs is part of this process. Good luck!

The last word: “Don’t just learn the tricks of the trade. Learn the trade.”– James Bennis