For years we have been educating salespeople about the advantages of being what we call the “Column A” vendor. This is the vendor whose capabilities not only align with the buyer’s requirements but also, ideally, includes unique capabilities that the seller has managed to weave into the buyer’s vision.
However, salespeople still ask us, “How do I know if I am the Column A vendor or not?”
While there are very few (if any) certainties in life or sales, there are definitely signs that we can look for that give us an indication as to where we might be.
One of the easiest ways to assess your standing with a prospect is to evaluate the “feel” of your interactions with them.
- If you are the Column A vendor, it feels like you are “playing catch” with a friend. You toss something their way. They toss something back to you. Everyone is interested in making sure that the other side is treated fairly and curve balls are usually not part of the equation.
- However, if you’re the Column B vendor, it usually feels a lot more like they are playing “fetch” with you. In other words, they are throwing things out and making you chase after them – “get me a proposal”, “I need it by the end of the week”, etc.
So, that “hot” prospect you have been working on – are you playing catch or fetch?