A recent article in Purchasing (June 2009, page 52) is a delight to read – it summarizes what purchasing people should expect to see (and hear) from salespeople going into a negotiation discussion.
Interestingly, it identifies what it expects from good salespeople, including:
Content: “Good salespeople try to be business advisors… They strike a collaborative tone.”
Qualification: “Salespeople will attempt to clarify that you really can make the final decision…”
Value: “Sales will always emphasize the value and benefits of their product rather than the price.”
Probing: “Salespeople will try to find out all aspects of your business and your specific need…”
Sounds very reasonable!
Reading trade publications targeted at buyers, purchasing, IT and related job titles can provide wonderful information on guidance on our customers’ perspectives.