There are more business opportunities out there for the taking in today’s connected world than at any point in the history of humanity. Pick any (legal!) industry, and I’ll prove it to you. However, this plethora of sales opportunities belies a more significant trend of increased competition amongst suppliers. No matter where you do business, there is competition at every turn. This begs the question: how does any single supplier stand out from the pack?
At Bid Ops, we’ve worked with dozens of sourcing organizations and hundreds of suppliers. Here are a few tips to help you and your organization become your customers’ favorite supplier.
Seize Every Opportunity
The greatest ice hockey player that ever lived, Wayne Gretzky, famously quipped, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” The same holds true for business opportunities — you can’t win if you don’t participate. So, respond to that RFP, complete that supplier registration form, reply to that email outreach. Be persistent. If the first RFP doesn’t work out, try again. Sourcing professionals notice and appreciate the dedication. There may be opportunities where the chosen supplier falls short of expectations, and they need to source the bid again. Your name may be the first they think of if they’ve seen it a few times.
There is nothing that frustrates buyers more than waiting on suppliers. Make it your goal to be the fastest-responding supplier your customer does business with. Based on activity on our platform, we’ve noted that suppliers that consistently respond to all buyer questions and document requests within 24 hours have an outsized advantage when it comes to winning the business.
Read all of the documentation associated with the RFP/Q/I. Then, ask great questions! Sourcing professionals are people — they make mistakes. A well-crafted, clarifying question shows the buyer you’re serious and helps them run the best possible sourcing process. But, a question from a supplier that is easily answered by reading the documentation can be a dealbreaker when it comes time to award the business.
Project a “Willingness to Discount”
Everyone loves the feeling of getting something for free. Use this to your organization’s advantage. Price your products and services competitively, but offer a little something extra (reduced logistics costs or relaxed payment terms, perhaps) if your customer buys in large enough quantities. “Sweeteners” like these can help set your organization apart from the rest.
Don’t Shrink from a Negotiation
Don’t expect your prospect to jump at your first offer. Be willing to negotiate if they counter with different pricing or terms. A deal that closes faster for slightly less revenue is better than a lost deal. Play the long game and focus on forging a long term relationship with your new customer.
Are you interested in adding a new channel to grow your sales pipeline? The Bid Ops Supplier Directory connects buying organizations with excellent suppliers around the world. For suppliers, this means increased opportunities for winning new business. Ready to join? Register for free here
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