Editor’s comment: Collaboration means everybody wins


The subject of sales negotiation tactics in an industry blighted by downward price pressure for what seems like a lifetime, is bound to pique the interest of both buyers and sellers of print. Albeit for different reasons.

Of course some would probably say that the term ‘print sales negotiation’ is an oxymoron, because all too often there’s very little negotiation involved – it’s just a case of lowest price wins.

Which inevitably sparks another debate on who’s to blame for unsustainable pricing – printers or buyers?

Or both? After all, in the same way that a salesperson is often simply judged by the amount of money they bring in, buyers are typically benchmarked by the savings they make.

However, in an ideal world shouldn’t sales be judged on yield or margin and buying on ROI or effectiveness? But to attain this balance both groups need to develop a better understanding of each other’s business needs by being open and honest about their own.

It’s easy for buyers and sales reps to revert to type and buy and sell on price, especially when everyone seems to think that’s all they do anyway.

But it’s proven that the best sales people and buyers adopt a collaborative approach and work hard to build a relationship based on trust, because regardless of the negotiation tactics employed that approach tends to reap rewards for both parties.

Because a successful sale or purchase shouldn’t be about making sure you’re not the loser, it should be about coming up with a solution that means both parties win. 

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