Ray Collis

Myth #9: The Competition Is Another Supplier

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Sellers mistakenly assume that the competition is another supplier. However, in most cases it is not. The real competition is another project vying for the same resources, a decision todelay, a decision not to proceed or to do it in-house.

With pressure on budgets, projects and purchases must compete for scarce organizational resources. Manager-buyers must demonstrate that their project merits support over competing projects based on a compelling business case and demonstrable strategic fit.

The seller’s narrow view of ‘the competition’ can be dangerous. It results in focusing on the competitive advantages of the seller’s solution, as well as its capability and track record. These are factors that have only marginal impact on the buying decision.

After all there is no point being in pole position for a deal that will never go ahead. Indeed, the number one reason why deals don’t proceed is not because of the challenge of picking the right supplier, but because a compelling business case has not been established.

Real differentiation between suppliers is not simply about competitive advantages, but the ability to help the buyer to build a compelling business case.

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