To get manufacturer every distributor wants you have to be the distributor every manufacturer wants.
But…. It’s not always about order volume.
The game of purchasing is about understanding what’s realistic, what type of customer you are, and what is and is not negotiable. Then, working towards being a headache free customer.
While manufacturers have their non-negotiable minimums, what they love most are customers that are easy to work with. That means being the filter between them and the customers, business, or managers you’re ordering on behalf of.
Give them what they need and how they need it. Allow them the time it takes to make it and you will become a very cost efficient customer. In exchange, you will often receive amazing service, favorable deals, and occasional perks.
Otherwise… They are spending a lot of unnecessary time with you instead of providing helpful insights. They are guessing about what you want instead of producing your vision. And/or, they are rushing to finish. If you aren’t giving them what they need and the time they need, wouldn’t it be crazy to expect anything different? Wouldn’t it also be crazy for a salesperson to not being trying to close the sale in anyway possible?
Become a great filter so you can be a great customer and get to work with great manufactures.
Interacting with people and playing jazz have a lot in common. Both have a groove, room to improvise, and an endless variety of performers. As performers, we toggle between fitting in with the ensemble and showing off our own unique sound.
Leaving space for others to shine, being confident and bold when it’s your turn, and locking into the groove makes for great music and amazing conversations.
Active listeners have all the fun, people that never leave room for others never feel heard, and finding people who you groove with is pure ecstasy.
Go play some jazz.
Businesses and products are started with assumptions…..
“assuming we can get 100 widgets for $5 each and sell all 100 for $10 we will make $500!.”
and adjusted for reality…..
“Turns out, the widgets cost $5.75, we had to buy 144 and were able to sell 113 of them. We made a profit of $302, what should we do going forward?”
No one can tell the future, but everyone can assume multiple outcomes are possible, decide on a margin of safety, and learn when to say no.
Providing value is the game of balancing quality, experience, and price. Achieving the point at which all three are balanced and the customer FEELS LIKE they should be paying just a little bit more.
It is about finding the sweet spot where a business can consistently deliver on what it promises to its customers, achieve a healthy margin, and the customers FEEL THAT intrinsic value of the products and/or services being sold is greater than the price they are sold for.
It is not easy to achieve. But in the long run, great value and a strong customer connection is a winning play.