The Buyer in All of Us – Part IV of V

January 30th, 2014

What type of buyer does your personality, circumstances, and experience make you for your organization?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing

This week we have been looking at the buying behaviors that each of has in our personal lives and equating that to the type of buyer you are in the business word.  In some cases the two may be the same and in others completely different.  This is wholly dependent on whether or not you view your company’s money the same way you do your own.  Today we continue looking at:

The Traditionalist (A.K.A The Relationship Builder)

Janet loves the people at the places she shops.   They are like a second family to her and she thinks of them as part of her social circle.   When Janet shops she doesn’t just buy, she builds relationships with the store owners and workers she buys from.  Janet isn’t rich, by any means, but the relationships she has built over the years are very important to her and even when new less expensive competitors come into town she refuses to leave her favorite stores and shops.  Loyalty is important to her even if the shop owners sometimes take advantage of her.

The Extra Mile  – When companies take Janet’s approach they very often experience great customer service from their suppliers.  This is to be expected for a few reasons.  First, many companies appreciate loyalty from their customers and try to reward in kind where they can, especially when the customer gets into a crisis.  Secondly, they know that they can count on the customer’s business and want to ensure they do not lost that business to one of the aforementioned “less expensive competitors.”  Their reminder to their customers frequently is “We may not be the cheapest, but we’re the best!”

Taking Advantage – The downside to being a loyal customer like Janet is that some businesses can take advantage of that relationship and loyalty.  They understand that the customer likes their company and doesn’t want to go elsewhere and that they also appreciate the little extras the supplier provides.  Because of this, many suppliers in this position don’t mind passing on little increases in price every year even though their costs may not be increasing along with them.   The customer may notice the increases but usually not enough to outweigh their loyalty to the company and will often justify the increases by thinking of the extras the suppliers gives them even when those extras don’t come close to equaling the increases being passed along.

Beyond Your Own Backyard – Blind loyalty can be a dangerous thing especially when, as mentioned above, suppliers begin to take advantage of the loyalty.  It can also be detrimental to a company because of the missed opportunities to receive better service at even better prices.  Because Janet never even looks at stores outside of her favoritesm, she will never know what other companies could offer her.   The sad truth is that so many organizations operate the same way.   They won’t leave what they know and so they will never know what they could have had.

Traditionalists operate under the best of intentions.  Unlike the Misers they are not interested in savings nearly as much as they are in solidifying their relationships with their vendors.  They usually will get great customer service but are in frequent danger of being taken advantage of by those same vendors over time.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with getting value without damaging your current supplier relationships or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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