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No, Price Buyers Aren’t All Bad

As a consultant, Nelson Hyde of Holden Advisors always seems to be jetting from one client to next. But a couple of weeks ago, I was able to catch him on the ground long enough to record an in-depth interview called, “Exploring Four Different Types of Buyers“.

For nearly an hour, I got to pick his brain about the different buyer types B2B companies can expect to encounter in the marketplace. Specifically, we discussed four primary archetypes: Price Buyers, Value Buyers, Relationship Buyers, and the always-wily Poker Players.

Of course, Nelson provided a ton of practical insight around how to identify each of these buyer types, what they really care about, how to deal with them, and so on. But at one point in the discussion, I had to ask the obvious question:

Isn’t a Price Buyer an undesirable customer that you want to avoid entirely?

As it turns out, the Price Buyer is not automatically undesirable. Sure, they may not be as “sticky” over the long haul as a Value or Relationship Buyer. After all, they’re interested in getting the lowest price and are more prone to switching in order to get it.

But a Price Buyer can still be a profitable customer for you.

According to the Nelson, the real trick with Price Buyers is about identifying them in the first place and responding appropriately. It’s about knowing whether you’re really dealing with a Price Buyer, or whether you’re dealing with a Poker Player (a Value or Relationship Buyer who’s just pretending to be a Price Buyer).

Then, should you determine that they really are a Price Buyer, you can get to the price they need by stripping-out the value (and cost) that a Price Buyer really doesn’t care about anyway. And in this way, you can win the Price Buyer’s business while still generating profits for yourself.

So, the takeaway is this: Price Buyers aren’t all inherently bad. They do indeed have the potential to be profitable buyers. It just depends on you—your ability to identify them and your willingness to make profitable value tradeoffs.

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