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 Not Preparing the Buyer for the Meeting – comes from the Free Guide – ‘Are You Making Mistakes As A Supplier When Selling  To The Big 4 UK Supermarkets?’

The Mistake

In over 1,000 supplier meetings I received a handful of agendas before the meeting. Most agendas were nicely printed on headed paper and handed to me at the start of the meeting. The problem this brings is that Buyers are not known for their preparation skills prior to a Supplier meeting and by not having an agenda before the meeting, they have every excuse not to prepare.
I do not mean agendas of old. Agendas for meetings used to say things like:

1. Introductions
2. Pack size
3. Range
4. Promotions
5. Availability

The Consequences

No preparation happens from the Buyer, which means that they sit through a deck of slides, almost surprised by what they are going through and almost get thwacked by the question at the end of, ‘What do you think? The Buyer either then says one of 3 things; ‘I’ll come back to you’ – Supplier leaves deflated, or ‘That was great’. Let’s …’ – Supplier pleasantly surprised, or ‘I’ll get back to you.’ – Meeting the supplier’s low expectations.

Screen shot of the meaning of the word agendaHow to Avoid

The Agenda above serves no purpose at all, except for someone to have a reminder of what they were going to go through. An agenda that serves the purpose of enabling the Buyer to prepare for the meeting could look like:

1. Introductions

2. Pack size; a. We need to reach a decision on sku 123 quality problem delivered into Cobham on Friday last week. See email of 12-10-15.

3. Range
a. Review of the previous range review. See attached chart showing xyz to discuss.
b. Upcoming Range Review. Thoughts attached on execution to discuss.

4. Promotions
a. Promotional Plan attached for the next 12 months.

5. Availability
a. Problem with weeks 4,5, and

6. To explore why. Conversation on the phone last week.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.

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