Purchasing Agent vs. Salesperson: Who Wins?

boxing glovesA classic battle that occurs on a daily basis happens when the salesperson walks into the purchasing agent or buyer’s office.

In a split second, the game is on.   As much as most salespeople would like to believe the battle if fought while sitting across from the buyer or purchasing agent, I argue by  that time it’s a done deal.  Reason I say that is I feel many times the outcome of the battle is determined even before it’s begun.

A purchasing agent/buyer may see a dozen or more salespeople in a given day. To them the “battle” is just another event in a long line of daily activities.

To the salesperson, the “battle” is one of maybe a couple of tough battles they may have all week or maybe all month.  Right there is why I say it’s over before it’s begun.

The salesperson who is sitting down with the tough purchasing agent once every couple of weeks is simply walking into the event cold.

They’re walking in having spent far too much time thinking about the outcome.  Whether they drove to the meeting or flew or even a combination of both, chances are they spent way too much time allowing voices in their head to tell them why the deal is not going to happen.

With all of this time to think about this single meeting, the salesperson is walking in already at a disadvantage.

Combine this with the purchasing agent able to do “battle” on their home turf at a time that works for them and with the ability to use any number of simple mind games at the last minute on the salesperson, and it becomes an easy win for the buyer.

Solution:  First of all,  salespeople need to make more sales calls.  Sounds trite but it’s true. The more you do something, the better you’ll become.  Second, park the voices and walk into the buyer’s office with only one thing on your mind and that is determining exactly the final terms of the deal that the customer agrees to go with.

Your confidence is a deal breaker.  I guarantee.  You would be wise to make sure your confidence is solid before you go in.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Click on the below book cover for more info on boosting your profits!

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1 thought on “Purchasing Agent vs. Salesperson: Who Wins?”

  1. Mark, let me be a little contrarian here.
    The one who “wins” the battle is the one who figures out that the salesman vs. purchasing agent relationship is NOT a battle. Best seen, it is a win-win opprotunity to create more longer-term value. The salesperson who figures that out starts getting that long term value in the short term, thus doing better than one who thinks it all has to come at the expense of the procurement folks.

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