The scenario seems all too common: a buyer offers their ingredient list in the form of an RFP or RFQ. Then they ask for the best price possible. We as sales professionals beat up our purchasing team to try to offer a cheap price and then submit back to the buyer. And then what…crickets or perhaps a cold, corporate response of “please consider any final pricing concessions” or “please revisit and offer your best pricing”.
“We are under a lot of pressure to reduce price”
“I need you to sharpen your pencil on that item”
(um…does anybody even use a pencil anymore?)
Of course, corporations both large and small have a fiduciary obligation to offer their shareholders value,
but is the cheapest price the best way of doing so?
I think the perception is that cheaper is always the best way to save. If we want to cut costs, we just put pressure on the seller to give us a better price.
But what if supplier A could deliver once a week at a cheaper price where supplier B could deliver any day for a slightly higher price? How do we factor in the cost of money, carrying cost, inventory prices, lost sales opportunities due to availability of raw materials?
Of course, all these evaluations require hard work and, more importantly, trust. Without a consistent and constant display of integrity and continuously building trust, buyers have no reason to try things differently or to reveal more information than they have in the past.
What if we could change the landscape of always asking for the best price baring consideration of other total cost factors? What if we could create a harmonious environment of low stress and high trust? What if the new norm was to find opportunities where both parties expressed their personal and corporate goals? Would this help them to find a win-win environment?
That to me sounds like something more than distribution. It sounds like a partnership built on trust.
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