A recent article drawing attention to what the writer describes as a need for sellers to be leaders in assisting buyers in the purchasing decision caught my eye. Consultant Deb Calvert suggests that sellers have a significant role to play in the purchasing decision. The tone of her article might even lend imaginary enhanced importance to any lumber trader’s role in the sales/purchase transaction when she indicates “we need sellers to inspire us as buyers, guide us and be a resource in facilitating a sale that will benefit us.” All of this is probably true. However, any article on salesmanship probably needs to recognize and differentiate between the marketing of industrial and consumer products. As pointed out here, “consumer marketing presupposes powerful sellers and passive, inexperienced buyers who can be influenced to purchase by a variety of advertising techniques”. In contrast, industrial markets – i.e. lumber buyers – consist of very knowledgeable buyers and buyer teams/buying groups/cooperatives.
It’s certainly true that the relationships developed between lumber buyers and sellers over time play a significant role in building trust and confidence in sales/purchase decisions. It’s evident that complexities of so many global variables shaping our domestic markets these days lend credence to the suggestion that purchasing managers or agents value trusted professional salesmanship to collaborate in interpreting market changes, empowering buyers.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
– Henry Ford