This was a question posed today in our training by someone who was relatively new to the program. In fact, today was week one. So what is the answer? Well, as always, the room came to the rescue with an answer. You know the best lessons come when the students become the teachers.
The example was given that in a commodity business such as buying a truck load of sunflower seeds the client does not always buy strictly on price. Sure that is a consideration. When all is said and done there are lots of things that go into the decision making process. Will the sunflower seeds be there when they said it would be? Will they be in good shape (wet or dry)? Will the process of ordering it and getting it delivered by an easy one? Will the terms be right?
The question then becomes, how do you let your prospects know all of this? By asking the right questions, and finding out what is important to them about their sunflower seeds and the process. How was it handled in the past? Do they currently get their deliveries on time from their current vendor? Are they happy with their current terms?
Sure you might still have to be part of a bid. And, if you do it right, you will develop the "trusted advisor" relationship with your prospects and clients so that the bid is a formality because of the bond you have developed. Why? Because they know you care. You not only asked but you listened and heard. So whether you are selling sunflower seeds or office equipment you still can have an edge over the other vendors who place their bids.