[MDM] Price Changes and Inventory Shortages Don’t Need to be Difficult Conversations

By Barrett Thompson, Zilliant

Oct 28, 2022

Barrett Thompson discusses how sellers can maintain positive relationships with customers despite a harsh economic environment

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These are grueling days for sales teams. Wave after wave of vicious economic changes — inflation, supply chain issues, a potential recession — forces them to approach their customers with yet another round of bad news about late orders, product outages or price changes.

That scenario has played out so often over the last two years that sellers are concerned they risk losing even their most loyal customers if they make a single misstep in customer relationship management. Where a moderate 3% cost increase used to be an annual expectation, imagine what it’s like to be a seller who has brought double-digit changes to customers five times in the past 24 months.

Customer relationship management has always been part of the job, but the pressure and anxiety that sales teams feel right now leave them feeling worn out and battered. The next piece of bad news they tell their customers might be the last straw.

And while we can’t avoid price changes, what if sellers embraced them as a chance to shine instead of dreading their arrival? Are there ways to embrace the news and turn it into a path to deeper and more long-lasting relationships with customers? Here are three conversations — two aimed at customers and one at your internal team — that can flip the script and create an opportunity to differentiate your company.

Product Substitutions: Anticipating What’s Coming

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