Purchasing Perspective – Anticipating Salespeople’s Moves


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A recent article in Purchasing (June 2009, page 52) is a delight to read – it summarizes what purchasing people should expect to see (and hear) from salespeople going into a negotiation discussion.

Interestingly, it identifies what it expects from good salespeople, including:

Content: “Good salespeople try to be business advisors… They strike a collaborative tone.”

Qualification: “Salespeople will attempt to clarify that you really can make the final decision…”

Value: “Sales will always emphasize the value and benefits of their product rather than the price.”

Probing: “Salespeople will try to find out all aspects of your business and your specific need…”

Sounds very reasonable!

Reading trade publications targeted at buyers, purchasing, IT and related job titles can provide wonderful information on guidance on our customers’ perspectives.

Copyright © 2009 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

For more tips and articles on demonstration effectiveness skills and methods, email me at [email protected] or visit our website at www.SecondDerivative.com. For demo tips, best practices, tools and techniques, join the DemoGurus Community Website at www.DemoGurus.com or explore our blog at http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


  1. Peter: it’s always nice to read a posting that hightlights the positive traits in salespeople, and not the negative, manipulative ones that make for popular blogs and articles.

    My advice to customers (I am one, in addition to being a salesman): When you’re working with a salesperson you like and trust, you’ll know it. On the other hand, if you’re uncomfortable working with a particular salesperson, there’s usually a good reason, and it’s not necessary to rationalize.


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