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10 Questions to Ask Logistics & Supply Chain Buyers to Generate More Sales

By Evan Lamolinara | 08/09/2019 | 10:21 AM | Categories: Current Affairs

Are you asking the right questions when pitching your distribution center, warehouse or logistics products or services to prospective Questions buyers? Many sales reps follow a linear approach with their sales efforts. After connecting with a prospective buyer, they use the same cookie-cookie script without giving the buyer an opportunity to speak. Even if this yields some sales, however, it's not a viable blueprint for long-term success. As a sales rep, you must gain insight into the needs of a prospective buyer by asking him or her the right questions. Below are 10 important questions to ask logistics or supply chain buyers that can help you generate more sales for your company.

#1) What's Your Budget?

I know. Seems obvious. However, this question frequently gets left out of the mix. Ask supply chain or logistics buyers about their budget. Different logistics and supply chain buyers have different budgets, and if you pitch a product or service that's outside of a buyer's budget, he or she won't have the financial resources to purchase it. So, during the early stages of the sales cycle, ask the buyer if this is something that is currently in the budget, or needs special approval for the funding. You can then take note of the buyer's budget, allowing you to recommend the right product or service. You’ll also learn a bit about their approval process, something that will be important for future sales.

#2) Who's Your Current Supplier or Vendor?

In addition to budget, you should also ask productive buyers who their current supplier or vendor is. Assuming the buyer already has a supplier or vendor, you'll need to convince him or her that your material handling company is a better fit. Of course, in order to do this, you must identify strengths in your company that's not available in the buyer's current supplier or vendor.

#3) What Are Your Goals?

It's always a good idea to ask supply chain or logistics buyers about their goals. When communicating with prospective buyers, ask them about their short- and long-term goals. Maybe a buyer wants to streamline his or her company's operations, or perhaps the buyer wants to expand. Regardless, you'll need to identify the buyer's short- and long-term goals so that you can effectively pitch your material handling company's products or services.

#4) What Method of Communication Do You Prefer?

Don't assume that all logistics buyers prefer to communicate over the phone. While calling is always an option, some buyers will likely prefer other methods of communication. In fact, statistics show over four in five B2B buyers prefer email, whereas only 58% prefer phone calls. By using the logistics buyer's preferred method of communication, you'll have an easier time reaching him or her, which usually means a greater chance to score a sale.

#5) What's Preventing You from Achieving Your Goals?

Now that you know the logistics or supply chain buyer's goals, you should ask him or her what's preventing them from achieving their goals. All buyers have "challenges" that restrict their ability to succeed. As a material handling sales rep, it's up to you to identify these challenges so that you can convince the buyer to make a purchase that helps them achieve their goal.

#6) Do You Have Purchasing Authority?

It's important to note that not all logistics or supply chain buyers have the authority to make purchases on behalf of their company. And without purchasing authority, the buyer won't be able to purchase your warehouse or distribution company's products or services -- not without passing the message along to an upper-level executive, at least. Be sure to ask questions on the purchasing process. What is it? How does it work? What is the average timeframe for each step? What doe they care about so you know what business plan to put together.

#7) What Features Are You Looking?

When selling a product to a supply chain buyer, ask him or her what features they are looking for. Buyers pay close attention to features when shopping for new products. If your material handling company's products don't offer the features for which a buyer is looking, it's unlikely he or she will make a purchase. (Now you know why those questions about are so important.)

#8) What's Your Deadline?

Don't forget to inquire about the logistics buyer's deadline. In other words, when exactly does the buyer hope to have the product delivered or the service completed? Even if a buyer's deadline is earlier than your material handling company's projected date of delivery or service completion, you may be able to adjust your company's operations so that it's aligned with the buyer's deadline.

#9) What's Your Company's Greatest Strength?

Try to find out what the greatest strength of the logistics or suppl chain buyer's company is. All companies have strengths, but they can vary from company to company. By asking a buyer about his or her company's strengths, you can recommend a product or service that capitalizes on these strengths.

#10) What's Holding You Back from Making a Purchasing Decision?

Finally, ask the logistics buyer what's holding him or her back from making a purchase. If a buyer is reluctant to make a purchase, there's typically some objection that's holding him or her back that they haven’t shared. By asking additional questions, understanding the reason for the logistics buyer's objection, you can formulate a solution, allowing you to convert him or her into a long-term customer.

These are just a few questions to ask supply chain and logistics buyers during your sales cycle efforts. Now, do you have enough prospects in your sales funnel to ensure you’re generating more sales?

It’s true, you can never have enough, but you need to ask, do you have enough quality sales leads in your funnel? If your answer is hesitant, then here’s where SalesLeads can help. We have full-time researchers that have their fingers on the pulse of the industry. We uncover opportunities in the logistics and supply chain space and turn them over to you to call and begin the sales process. These are called Project Reports.

The Project Reports will give you some background information on the opportunity along with the contact names, email addresses and phone numbers. Now you’ll be able to put these vital questions to work quickly as the need has already been identified. Take a look at a few Project Reports so you can evaluate it for yourself. Open a complimentary account and take a look around. You’ll get a good idea of what else in going on in your territory so you can have complete full coverage. Good selling.



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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara

Evan Lamolinara is president of SalesLeads, Inc., a company that has been around for over 60 years, generating high quality sales leads dedicated to the sales & marketing professionals in the industrial marketplace. Mr. Lamolinara, an entrepreneur and competitor, purchased the legacy company in 2014. Since then, he's redeveloped its core software delivery platform and grew the company over 400%. Evan graduated from Mount Union College with B.A. Business Management and honed his competitive skills as a 3-year letterman on the College football team.


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