Insider tips for getting the most out of your appointment…
Are you thinking of attending a meet the buyer session over the next coming weeks or months? Have you been to a meet the buyer (or MTB) event before?
Most the meet the buyer sessions are based on an appointment based system (like a parent’s evening) so you can meet with several buyers from one or more company in a pre arranged time slot. They are usually held across multiple companies (often public sector share this responsibility and combine their events to one bigger event with attendees from councils, fire and rescue, the NHS and perhaps the local police also)
Most attendees that go, want to “sell” their products or services as they only get a very short timescale window of say 5 – 10 minutes with their procurement buyer.
THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST NOT DO – IT’S A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!!!!
I say this, in the most helpful manner possible, as to be honest most people ignore our warning, and go ahead, taking samples, leaving price lists and marketing materials – seriously it’s not the time or place to do this.
Most of the procurement individuals are fairly junior, with little or no experience, so here’s what you SHOULD DO for preparation.
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to know the answers to… a good starting point are the ones I’ve added here (XXX = insert details of YOUR products and services)
- Who is responsible for the procurement of XXX within your organisation? (name of person)
- When do the tender opportunities get published? (timescales)
- Where are the tenders published?
- How do I become a preferred supplier?
- Do you have a list of stakeholders that I could contact to discuss their requirements?
- What spend (value) is spent on XXX?
- Please can you tell me the name of the current supplier for the contract covering XXX
- Ask for a contact sheet listing of all the procurement team and their relevant email and telephone numbers (this should be given to you upon request)
- Ask to be introduced to the most senior member of their team – make this a quick “Hello, just wanted to meet you in person, I’ll be in touch regarding XXX”
By following these simple rules, you will have found out, who is responsible, when they are tendering, the value of the contract, where it is published, a list of contacts within the organisation and also any other stakeholders who may have influence over the decision making process
Then post the meet the buyer event, you can construct a well balanced, meaningful contact via telephone or letter, or email which details that you met the team at the meet the buyer event, and that you are interested in the XXX products or services.
Depending on your products or services supplied, you can also specify certain “market particulars” that might be of interest to the procurement person in question.
Good luck at the meet the buyer event, use it as an opportunity to find out, rather than sell and see the difference.
Ocurem are specialists in procurement, and can provide tailored consultancy advice for winning contracts, improving sales and understanding procurement and buyers – do get in touch with us, if you’d like us to help you Tel: 01302 852550 email: firstname.lastname@example.org