Here at Supply Chain Services we have a customer-centric culture based on our purpose: Helping Customers Operate Better. At the same time we are consultative sales folks and believe strongly in ferreting out what problems the customer is trying to solve before recommending a solution. So when a customer asks for a quote on a specific part number we respond with a form of “why” rather than an answer. This can be offputting to a customer and sometimes awkward to the salesperson. But we have learned the hard way to understand the needs before we propose a solution.
Recently this exact situation occurred with a call from an independent software vendor (ISV) with whom we had no prior relationship. He wanted a quote on a mobile computer to go along with his warehouse software for a new opportunity. The salesperson followed the practice and kept getting a progressively more aggravated response “I just need a price!” Finally they got on the same wavelength, talked through the details and mutually concluded that the requested hardware would not work properly in the application. An alternative was quickly developed. We turned a very irritated potential customer into a “Thank God you forced me through this process” advocate.
Just Ask Why.