Monday, March 26, 2007

Merchant Retailers thrive on the challenges of finding the right Solutions Systems that will Pay All Billers For Walk-in Customers.

Merchant Retailers thrive on the challenges of finding the right Solutions Systems that will Pay All Billers For Walk-in Customers. Bill Payment Services - Prepaid Phone Services .

Now is the time to get set for the peak selling season. Working with vendors has dramatically changed over the last decade. At one time you could count on vendors and manufacturers’ reps stopping into your store with the latest and greatest items. That was before company mergers, rising gas prices and the decline in company expense accounts. Now, especially if your business is outside a major metropolitan area, except for your local suppliers, you hardly ever see a vendor’s face. As a result, store owners need to be creative about how they find the right items at the right time at the right price.

Before we start dealing with vendors, let’s discuss what makes a good buyer or rather a great buyer.
1. The best buyers are those that understand that buying is an art, not a science. Buying is an ever-changing, market-driven skill, forever in a state of flux. Some things are basic accounting like I sold 1,000 batteries last year and my customer base is growing at 10% so I should buy 1,100 this year. But the majority of what you buy to make you different from your competition, is based on pulling together all of the information you have gathered from your research, readings and interaction with customers and employees.

2. The best buyers understand that buying is actually selling. You are selling your store as well as yourself to vendors to get what you want. A great buyer makes a vendor understand that having their merchandise in your store will be an asset for the vendor.

3. The best buyers understand that money is made in the buy. So do your homework before committing to the price on an item. Know what the competition is offering. Always negotiate with the following in mind: to serve your customers well, to make sure these customers will be getting the most for their money, and obviously you need to get the most for your investment.
Preparing for the buy is the most crucial, yet the most difficult aspect of your job because:

1. Temptation- As you begin dealing with several vendors in several different settings, whether in their beautiful showrooms or in booth after booth at a trade show, the temptation is always there to buy a lot more than can actually fit into your store- or your budget.

2. Timing- The timing of product coming into your store is vital. If you give a vendor an order today, you need to know when it will arrive. Too early or too late will play havoc on your sales and selling space.

3. Planning- Paperwork can be a comfort or a nuisance, depending on your point of view, but planning and keeping the paperwork organized is vital to your long-term buying success. Never, and I repeat never, make a buying decision until you are sure it fits within your financial buying plans.

When you are dealing with vendors keep in mind:1. Be prepared- Know your store, know your customer, know your niche intimately. Know the competition, know how much you have to spend and know the reputation of the vendor you are dealing with.

2. Negotiate with the right person- Make sure you deal with a decision maker for this vendor, not just an order taker or gatekeeper. You may be small but you are going to grow. Convince the vendor that you are someone to watch and it is worth the boss’s time to meet you.

3. Give yourself room to maneuver- Without appearing too coy, don’t back yourself into a corner by being too black and white in dealing with vendors. Always have a backup plan if you really want a certain product.

4. Don’t give away too much too soon- Vendors can sense when a buyer is over anxious for a product. When this happens, buyers lose the leverage they had when they walked into the booth. Like gamblers maintain their "poker faces", buyers need to have their "game face" on when dealing with vendors. This does not mean you have to be stern or dour. Be warm and pleasant and have a good laugh and vendors will tend to give you a break. Just don’t seem too over anxious.

5. Be prepared to say no- Saying no is the hardest, and yet the most essential skill for a buyer to learn. If something is just not right for your organization, like price or case pack, you have to be prepared to say no and walk away. Often the vendor will come back to you with the right deal. I call this "buyer chicken". Who will blink first?

6. Make your word your bond- In buying, as in life, ethics make the man or woman. Your word is your bond. If you commit and give your word, make sure you follow up and execute what you say you are going to do. Vendors, knowing they can count on you, will help you in many unexpected ways. Buying goods from the right resources is the very heartbeat of running your business. No matter how dynamic you make the store look, or how good the location of your store, if you have the wrong goods at the wrong price, you just won’t make it in this highly competitive world of retailing. Entrepreneurs thrive on the challenges of finding the right products at the right price at the right time. That is the inner strength that drives us to succeed.

Businesses must never stop innovating and continually add value to there business process to maintain & enahance the competitive position.

To learn how to innovate your business for the wave of the future!.

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