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Buying Procedure

I've read a couple of books that say you should uncover your customer's "Buying Procedure." Does this only apply when there is some type of "ritual" or "company policy"? - by Gilbert
Does this only apply when there is some type of "ritual" or "company policy"?
Not necessarily. Most people are creatures of habit. This would imply that even when there is/isn't a "Formal" buying procedure there is an "informal" one. - by SalesCoach
So how would you use this information? :confused: - by Gilbert
For example if you find out that a customer likes to do their buying on Thursdays so that they can get delivery on Friday to be ready for the week-end, guess who you call every Thursday morning.;) Or if you know they like to get three quotes on something before they buy and you know you're the third (ask how many quotes are in), you can press hard for a decision while you are there and find out if you need to adjust your proposal. - by Doc MC
For example if you find out that a customer likes to do their buying on Thursdays so that they can get delivery on Friday to be ready for the week-end, guess who you call every Thursday morning.;) Or if you know they like to get three quotes on something before they buy and you know you're the third (ask how many quotes are in), you can press hard for a decision while you are there and find out if you need to adjust your proposal.
Exactly. This is the path of least resistance. - by SEOMyth
mmmm I think this is better known in the UK as purchasing criteria



You need to find this out for:



1: The decision maker

2: All influencers

3: Company Policy



1/2 is a list of their priorities i.e. track record, value, delivery, support, location of the supplier , financial stability etc.



3 = payment terms, subcontract policy, number of quotes required, turnover, length of time you have been in business etc



Your objective is then to close on 1/2 i.e. make sure that you get commitment from them that they are happy you have met their personal purchasing criteria and make sure you can meet 3. If not don’t waste your time on the deal. - by Bizal
Great information. Thanks! - by Gilbert
Let me give you an idea of the kind of answers I get when I ask my usual questions to uncover procedure. First, here are the questions :

• What happens from here? How do you go about coming to a decision?

• Do you have an internal process for making decisions on issues like this?

• Could you take me through what’s going to happen on your side from here?


The kind of replies I get :

"Well, I'd like to see how it works first. If it all looks OK, I would need to present a proposal to the department director at the XXX meeting in October. If that goes OK, then Mrs XXX would sign off on it"

or

"I need to check a few other suppliers to get some comparative quotes. Whoever looks best, I will select and we'll take it from there"

or

"If we like the look of it I will apply to put it into next year's budget"

What would you do with this information?

On the whole, the buyer has their way to buy. You will have a hard time changing it. On the whole the best thing for you to do is to fit their process. If you know what's going on on their side you can alter your approach appropriately. Take that last answer. You don't want to be spending a lot of time on that person right now (they MIGHT get the budget, then they MIGHT buy in 12 MONTHS!). Yes, keep that lead warm, but they would not be considered a qualified prospect (not by my criteria, anyway).

Hope that helps.




Great information. Thanks!
- by Ed McLean
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