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13 June 2013 | Helen Gilbert
More than two thirds of firms are satisfied with their current suppliers, a global survey by Mercuri International has discovered.
The sales training consultancy surveyed 700 managers, directors and procurement staff across 14 countries and different industries for views on their own procurement practices and their opinion of sales departments.
Altogether, 70 per cent of companies expressed “no interest” in taking on new suppliers.
The most important attributes buyers required of sellers were keeping promises, kindness and helpfulness (81 per cent), knowledge of firm’s specific requirements (79 per cent), the ability to find solutions to challenges (75 per cent) and knowledge about their own products and internal processes (76 per cent).
Talking too much, asking too much, trying to bypass the purchasing department and not listening were among the common mistakes sellers made, the research showed.
“Sales people today run the risk of either listening too little or asking too much,” Ola Stromberg, CEO at Mercuri International said. “Customers expect sellers to know about their situation and needs, and they want an expertise dialogue with suppliers. Sellers must be assertive in their ability to meet customers’ needs.”