Manager using tablet while worker scanning package

Is Your Customer the Barricade to a Sale?

The Situation

Maggie is a sales rep for a company that sells plastic bottles and jars to manufacturers. She regularly calls on Aaron, whose company produces a wide range of mustard products in jars. Part of Aaron’s job is negotiating with Maggie and other suppliers, but his boss, Stephen, must approve all final contracts.

Maggie is excited about a new limited-time promotion her company has on several popular sizes of jars, although she knows Aaron normally would not be buying for another four months. However, she feels the discounts should interest Aaron — and the sale has an expiration date.

Maggie: Aaron, you can see that these markdowns will save you thousands, but they only go to the end of the month.
Aaron: I don’t know. The timing’s not good. I don’t want to take this to Stephen right now.
Maggie: But if your company’s buying in a couple of months anyway, he should appreciate the savings.
Aaron: Stephen can be stubborn when it comes to spending. I know what he’ll say.
Maggie: Could you at least show him this price list? Now is the time for saving substantially.
Aaron: Maggie, I’m not going out of my way to be turned down by my boss. He’s not open to it now.

What Can She Do?

Maggie is frustrated because Aaron has become a barrier to the sale. She feels that Aaron’s boss would see the logic of ordering now, even if he’s belt-tightening. How might she have dealt with Aaron differently, using Q4 needs-based selling techniques? Is there still an opportunity?

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