Switching suppliers – the buyer’s perspective

which supplier - from the buyer's perspective

When was the last time you looked at yourselves from the buyer’s perspective?

We asked one of our clients if we could talk to one of their recent prospects (they closed the deal). We wanted to better understand what was important to the 1st contact and the way they went through the process of searching for a new supplier.  This is what she had to say:

As the office manager at my firm, my Managing Director told me to find us a new supplier. The current supplier was failing to provide the service we needed. The responsibility to look for a new provider fell to me, but I was completely snowed under with work. I had a really limited time to shop around.

So, where was I supposed to begin? There were so many suppliers to choose from. I was looking for one that kept it as straight forward and simple as possible. As with everything these days, my first point of call was the internet. But viewing different supplier’s websites didn’t give me much of an idea about the quality of their service. I also used social media to look for any recommendations.

I came across one supplier who I thought could potentially solve my firm’s issues. Their low price grabbed my attention, but after contacting them, I found them to be extremely unhelpful and they made things sound too complicated.

They didn’t cut it, so my search continued. There were a number of things that I was looking for in my new IT supplier and I wanted one that had them all.


First things first, they had to be offering their service at a good price. I had a deadline to find a new supplier and there were many other jobs I had to complete. I was in danger of making a rushed decision based on price. Chances are you’ve probably had a similar experience, where you’ve made a quick decision to go for the cheapest product or service and you end up sacrificing quality. So, my supplier had to be honest and affordable.


Due to my time limit, I needed a supplier who’s website was easy to navigate and understand. I didn’t have days to spend trying to find out how to get in touch with them or understand the information about their service. If a site was too difficult to use, I looked elsewhere for someone I could get in contact with easily.


My new IT supplier needed to be reliable. I didn’t want a supplier we paid bucket loads for, yet they still couldn’t deliver a service any better than our last supplier. I needed an IT supplier who wouldn’t put me on hold for hours listening to crackly music and I certainly didn’t want to have to wait days for someone to come and fix my problem. They had to be a supplier who was easy to contact and would send someone out as soon as something went wrong.


They also had to be trustworthy. The only way I was going to find this out was if I heard from their existing or previous clients. I needed to hear stories of the great service they’ve provided and how they’ve made a different to their client’s lives. If I knew other clients trusted them, I was more inclined to choose them as my new supplier.

A relationship

As a client, I wanted to feel like I could have a good connection with my new supplier. If this was to be a long-term relationship, I wanted a stable, positive rapport with them – that way I wouldn’t feel we would have to look for a new supplier in a couple of months time.


Finally, I wanted my new IT supplier to make it as easy as possible to make the switch. They had to provide good customer service and most importantly, be helpful. As a firm, we would be more likely to feel we could stay with them if they were supportive and easy to talk to.

The Buyer’s Perspective

Does this sound like the process your prospects go through in their minds? How do you think you would have been able to help this Office Manager? When was the last time you looked at things from the buyer’s perspective to ensure your marketing is doing and saying the right things?