Growth Tips: Competing with lowest price vendors

Four tips for selling your products without giving them away.

March 21, 2013   by ANDREW SHEDDEN

There are few things more frustrating than competing in a market space that consistently awards contracts to the lowest priced providers. In effect the supplier who is willing to make the least amount of profit is the winner. Some win.

So how do you wins sales without giving your products away in competitive bid situations? Follow these four steps:

• Stop selling to purchasing agents. Many of them are obsessed with getting the lowest price. Determine who are the highest-level buyers with direct influence over the purchasing decision such as a plant manager or plant engineer and market to them.

• Take the time to understand their challenges and aspirations. Effective early stage marketing is not about your company or products. It’s about proving you really understand the customer. It’s about empathy. For example, a plant manager might be most concerned with increased throughput. A plant engineer’s preoccupation may be reducing defects.

• Create educational content that addresses the customer’s concerns and aspirations at the earliest stage of the buying process. This is not product information but rather information that shows the customer current best practices, the benefits in leaving the status quo, and the preliminary steps to do so.

• Prove how your solution will bring additional value. It’s all about the positive outcomes the customer will receive as a result of buying your products.

Andrew Shedden, an industrial marketing consultant and coach, helps manufacturers attract and sell to more ideal customers. For free business growth resources visit

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