This question is one of the most important questions you can ask of yourself. Self assessment regarding how your customers and prospects think of you as a b2b sales person.
If you are referred to as a “Vendor” it is an indication you are selling too low in the customer organization. Therefore, loyalty is limited to your last price quote. There is no compelling reason for the buyer to open up to you with important information or issues to assist you in formulating a plan of action to help this customer. Why? Because the customer feels you are just one in a thundering herd of sales people pushing the same products and services. Their is no differentiation in their mind between you and any other b2b sales person.
If on the other hand, you are viewed as a “business advisor, consultant or expert” – then you have moved into the ranks of the B2B Sales Superstars. You are seen as an invaluable asset to the customer since you are capable of helping them gain new opportunities at a faster rate than they could by themselves. How do you know if you are in the category? Two things occur – They call you for advise on several issues and They always take your calls or call you back immediately.
The truth about the vendor status is you are playing a no win game with the buyers. They do not want you to increase your margins at their expense, they want the absolute best price – even if you lose money on the transaction and they want you to cut your commission so they can get get a better price.
In fact, if customers see you as a vendor, they are wondering when you will just offer them a EDI port or a Website so they can order direct or worst – comparison shop while on the internet. Have you seen the new TV commercials for the App on your smart phone that compares prices based on the product codes for retail shoppers? Tells people where they can get a better price – while inside a retail store!
Similar issues are coming – if not already around for you in the world of B2B Sales.
The key is to learn how to sell to a higher level. When I say higher level it means you must become a better sales person – a business expert who sells. And, you must be preparing yourself with new skill sets to be able to call at the highest level of your customer or prospect effectively.
The important thing to remember is You Can Make a Difference as a B2B Sales Superstar – the Business Experts Who Sell. Start today or you will soon find fewer opportunities for you as a b2b (old school traditional sales ) sales person.
If you feel you need assist in moving to the next level of sales success, call me at 901-757-4434 and we can discuss the options you have to improve and meet this challenge head on.