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How to develop better relationship with potential customer whom we first started with pricing?

My company recently has connected with a potential customer who is one of the biggest tier 1 supplier for manufacturers (for example, Delphi, GM, BMW, and etc) in automotive industry. This potential customer sends my company request for quote(RFQ) of automotive part every week which is a good opportunity for my company keep competent on the bidding track among competitors. However, I'm trying to find a way how to get stand out of the competition and win the bid someday. I have tried to reach the buyer and get more information what I can do by providing her/his RFQ. What else I can do more (other than giving my best pricing) to develop better relationshp in order to win the business? any thought? your feedback would be very appreciated!

4 Replies

Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Evelyn, I don't mean to be trite, but read the book Strategic selling. Who Are you receiving the RFQs from. ...procurement? Work on developing relationships outside of procurement. Procurement typically doesn't have the authority to say yes, but they do have the power to say no.
Neil Licht - HereWeAre
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Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567
How do you get your product or service selected v others?

You have to change the buying process from a "commodity" and a procurement cost driven bid proces to what goes into getting, using the product, usability, performance specs, specific characteristics of the supplier, on time delivery, keeping guaranteed stock, usability requirements, installation process, all the reasonsbehind having to buy then use and and how often.

You easily do that and can find out, and get included in the bid request all of those critical edge specifics by talking with the actual dept head who uses the product. So... find out who that is and talk directly with them.

Make it a sincere fact finding call and even say that as a supplier, you really want to understand the whys and hows of the product and how its used, when replaced, critical performance, installation issues etc. Your new contact will love the fact that you did this because they are now seen as the "expert" in the product and you have respected them as such.

Learn from them what might make it easier and faster to uses, get into stock, when most needed with less agita re the type of product used. Ask what's really critical in the product for them and why.

Ask them for preferred like(s) and why.

Now, knowing everything about how the product is actually used and what's involved, its critical nature characteristics, you and that person can discuss how you best meet those issues for them, get agreement and jointly write a very specific bid spec ( recipie, not brand) that only you can meet.

Add "no substitutes, must meet entire spec", and other things that undoes competition and their ability to put a bid/quote in.

Now you can control you getting the bid v a price only competition because you have developed a very specific bid/quote specification for the product that includes only things you and your company can do and that are specified as MUST be met in order to be considered for purchase.

Try this as explained above
Vijay Goel, MD
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Vijay Goel, MD Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)
Neil's laid out the case pretty well. you want to deliver to them either a lower TCO or better than possible today product that they can sell upstream.
Evelyn Chen
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Evelyn Chen Entrepreneur
Director, Corporate Development at Spec-Metal Inc.
I thank you very much for your advice here and surely will implement the thinking from a customer's point of view in order to win customer's attention!
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