6 Buyer Tactics That Will Slash Your Margins

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

pull a ropeWe often talk about the selling skills required to deal with today’s complex and competitive market place.

Those skills normally revolve around the abilities of salespeople to achieve specific sales objectives and deal with objections or negotiate a better deal.

However, we seldom look from the perspective of the training that buyers receive and the tactics that they may use to get what they want,  specific sales objectives and deal with objections or negotiate a better deal.

However, we seldom look from the perspective of the training that buyers receive and the tactics that they may use to get what they want.

Yes, buyers are being taught just like you how to get better deals and what to do to increase their margins.

So, let’s discuss some of the ideas out there that buyers try out with you.

Even though they might want to do business with you, this doesn’t stop them wanting the best deal.

When you identify some of the tactics they may use, you can look out for them and ensure you get a win/win outcome.

Here are some of the tactics buyers may use:

Buyers Prepare Too!

Yes, strange as it may seem, buyers actually prime and organise themselves for the sales process.

This may mean they know which techniques you’re going to use and may match them. They may be trained in negotiation skills as they are buying every day.

Their experience may throw you off centre when you are trying to close. So don’t underestimate the power of a negotiating buyer!

They Never Let You Know If You’re Winning Or Losing

This is so they can put pressure on you to discount or to improve your terms and conditions.

Even if they want your product like a thirsty man needs water, they may still hold out for that better price, or free delivery or better payment terms.

They also don’t want you to walk away from the proceedings, so they can keep your competitive quote high on their list of bargaining tools with others. This brings us onto:

They Want A Number Of Supplier Quotes

The goal here is to keep as many competitive offers on the table as is practical, so they can ensure they have the best deal for themselves. Many buyers will get at least three competitors bargaining against each other, just to ensure they are achieving the best terms.

They Negotiate In Reverse Order

Some buyers are taught the tactic of negotiating with the least-favoured supplier first. Let’s say the company Is buyer new photocopiers. They’ll go to the supplier in last position and talk about a deal. Then they’ll take these figures to the next supplier and negotiate on those terms. They’ll continue to do this until they get to their favoured supplier. By this time they have the power to knock this supplier down to the lowest price or the most favoured terms to the buyer, and because they have written quotes, the favoured supplier feels under pressure to match or beat the terms.

They Will Take The Deal Away From You

This s a classic technique that puts undue pressure on the supplier. It goes something like “I know we’ve been dealing with you for some time, but budget cuts mean I have to go with a cheaper supplier. Sorry!” Because you have invested so much in the client up to this point, you try to find out what the budget is and match that because you don’t want to lose the business. Suddenly, you’re back in the game again, and the buyer has got what he wants (your products and services) at a better price.

The Buyer Knows Your Time Constraints

The best buyers know the deadlines you are working to. If you’re running a campaign, they know you need to close at the end of the week or month or quarter. They know if they can hold out until the deadline approaches, they have a greater bargaining power. Remember, if you’re above your target, you have the power to walk away from this deal, but if the buyer has this knowledge then they have the power to achieve a better deal from you.

Not all buyers, of course, will use techniques like these to make your job harder than it already is.

Just be aware that many have been trained to do so.

Be aware of what is going on and you won’t find yourself making deals that you may regret later on!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 7 July, 2015

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