The Lost Art of Selling

For the last decade the JBP has dominated the supplier and retailer relationship.  The ability to agree an annual programme of conditional investment allowed suppliers to gain commitment to their key brand and category initiatives with a relative level of confidence that they would be delivered.  This focus was enabled by Customer Managers who honed their skills to understand and manage the overall margin and ensure that conditions were met before investment was released through dispassionate and objective negotiation.

However, in the past 2 years we have seen a seismic shift as many of the retailers have pushed ahead with ‘Back to Front’ margin demands, the removal of the JBP, and dramatic range rationalisation.  With the end result that suppliers are now left without those conditionality levers and perceive that they have little to persuade suppliers on the correct course of action for their products as they find their ability to negotiate nullified and their products under constant threat.

Added to which retailers now see offering “the lowest price” as a given and now require more from suppliers – solutions that truly differentiate them vs their competitors and give shoppers a reason to visit.

The answer to this for suppliers is to go back to focusing on selling.  Not the Solution Selling of the 1990’s, but, true Customer Centric Selling that provides a tailored insight into what the retailer needs to deliver for their shoppers conveyed in a genuinely passionate manner as to why that suppliers’ brand is the best fit vs any of the competitor set.

At Sellex we have developed a Customer Centric Selling programme centred on a four-step framework that allows Customer Managers to consistently build concise, insight based, compelling proposals that will differentiate them within the category and vitally, demand action from the retailer.  The programme not only sets out the techniques and skills required to construct proposals, but also focuses on the essential delivery of them to ensure stand out.

What makes the Sellex approach different?  Three essential components:

  1. Simple, straightforward, and memorable framework that people can use instantly and apply to all sales situations
  2. Application to ‘live’ subjects during the workshop, delivering a relevancy and immediate ROI on capability investment
  3. Understanding of the current ‘hot’ issues our clients face when selling to customers thanks to our daily involvement in consultancy

We’ve worked with a number of clients across numerous markets and categories enabling teams to…

  • Successfully launch NPD into highly competitive categories
  • Deliver price increases where there was no commodity argument
  • Re-list essential sku’s where only two brands were required

To find out more, and how you can up-skill your teams to meet the new challenges where there are few negotiation levers, contact us at and we’d be delighted to discuss with you how we can get your customer managers… Customer Centric Selling.

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