Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2017 • 23 legitimately offer a different price that will leave both parties feeling they got a fair and desirable deal. The Purchasing Agent's Dilemma When customers can get the same stuff cheaper but they'd better not, it is usually because someone else has given them the assignment to procure it. Typically, this is the challenge of the purchasing agent. More often than not, it is the end user of the materials or services who dictates what, for how much and from whom the products are to be purchased. Purchasing agents generally have lit- tle or no influence in the buying decision. Ironically, though, the last thing they want is for you to get past them to deal directly with the true decision maker. Their function is to place the order, fol- low up on it, and cross their fingers that it gets delivered on time. When your dealings with a company require you to go through a purchas- ing department, consider invoking the "Jesuit Rule"—that is, you will have far greater success asking for forgive- ness after-the-fact (for violating "pro- cedures" and side-stepping "proper channels"), than by asking for permis- sion ahead of time. Attempt to contact the person who has the most vested interest in buying the right product at the right price directly, and get all the enormously important particulars from this individual. If you get "caught"—thus, alienating the pur- chasing agent—be humble and beg for- giveness. But try to avoid asking permis- sion to approach the end user. Chances are you'll be shut down and thrown out on principle alone. The last of the can conditions—"She can . . . but she really can't."—may sound like double-talk, but it's the simplest of them all. She can buy it cheaper but she really can't because the company down the block won't sell it to her. Perhaps because she has yet to pay for the last batch of stuff she bought. In such a case, simply hold your ground on price. You certainly don't need customers who beat you up on price and then forget to pay you! Rule of thumb: "Run—don't walk— away from delinquent price buyers." Most Of The Time, They Can't When someone looks you straight in the eye, tells you he gets the same stuff elsewhere for a lower price but, because you've done your homework, you know he can't, we call that the "bald-faced liar." If you are willing to sell him something for $100 and he says he can get the same thing for $60, diplomatically dispatch him to take advantage of that great deal. Chances are you couldn't even produce it for 60 bucks. In fact, why not go with him, buy it down the street for $60, then resell it to your customers for $100? If you could, you should... all day long. Most of the time, when a customer feels compelled to lie to you, his fib is one of the "not-the-whole-truth" variety—as in when you offer to sell him something Ideally, you'll be able to demonstrate that the benefits of doing business with you are worth the selling price.

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