Wednesday 17 June 2009

When the buyer won't listen….

Find yourself batting against a brick wall, with buyers pre-occupied or even very-occupied with margin and sales growth, regardless of companies failing over financial precipices all around them…?
Deep down the buyer wants an answer to 'whats in it for me?' within a few seconds of your opening gambit, or else…
In fact, the recession has simply caused them to up the ante ref their demands for more of the same…

Essentially, most buyers have to be fixated on margin and sales increment, and are generally satisfied with the status quo i.e. the current methods of meeting those needs via your competitors' solutions, they just want more.

Only two ways of breaking into their thinking, and making a buyer listen…fright or curiosity
Fright: means making them face up to shortfalls in their own business performance, usually financial i.e. Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Boots are producing ROCE performances low enough to have had buyers fired a couple of years ago. Since ROCE drives share price and most buyers are on share options, this approach can be of interest!
Curiosity: means helping the buyer see that they could be missing a trick that other retailers are benefitting from. A NAM/KAM is in a position to survey the whole retail environment (buyers are essentially in depth specialists in their own environment, and gross margin and sales obsession does not help). A NAM/KAM should identify what makes the buyer's rival retailer better, translate this into ROCE impact, and sell the solution, tailored to the buyer's reality.

Incidentally, used effectively, fright-curiosity will certainly make the buyer listen, the real problem is being able to deliver a solution that matches the extent of status-quo destabilisation…in other words, when you finally get 'em listening, you better be good!

No comments: