The most intriguing and maybe relevant article for me recently has been “selling to the cold and reserved buyer”. Buyers are more reserved and generally slower to build relationships today. The scale of the deal obviously influences how procurement managers act but there are other factors also such as time constraints. Less staff for more work – time spent on over long meetings, lunch and dinner can eat into valuable family time so those with children to manage are often more constrained than those without. Human factors can influence that short meeting and cold appearance.
Younger buyers tend to be more analytical and “cold” – used to communicating via technology and happier to work in that medium and deal with facts and business cases.
Older buyer often happy to build that relationship but be aware of getting trapped – the segment maybe much better at appealing to the sellers emotions.
Relationship selling and service still matters. Yesterday’s performance may not win tomorrow deal but poor performance will obviously loose it. Time challenged buyers are not going to spend time developing business cases for marginal gains particularly if it introduces a service risk but know the market and adapt. Awareness of competition position and having the flexibility to adapt to short term market trends may keep that buyer in your camp. Forcing them to analyse a new supplier is high stakes game.