Angry Birds in Optometry
Martin Windstorm, author of "Buyology" concluded in his research that 90% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. In other words, whatever emotion that is driving an individual at the moment rules the process. Brands that create a greater emotional response usually are purchased. Could this be true of your purchasing department? Could they be purchasing on principles that are not business related or analytical?
I am a highly analytical person to a fault. My wife often comments "Mark, you have no soul!" She doesn't mean that I am a mean person, she just means that I am highly analytical and often lack those things other people call "feelings". The aforementioned statistic represents all of the feelings that make someone want to purchase. From vacuum sales to frame sales, vendors all realize that you will likely purchase from someone you perceive as a "friend". The responsibility of an outside sales rep is to build a relationship even if it is falsely based. As an analytical person, this was the area of outside sales I was horrible at executing. I was not there to be your friend, but I was there for a business transaction. I always lead with data not friendship. In the long run, my clients became very loyal, but in the short term it was very hard for me to open new accounts.
You might be asking "What does this have to do with Angry Birds". Well, we have examined why people purchase from a vendor, but we need to examine why they stop. I have found that often an account will cut ties with a vendor because of anger, even if it makes better sense to continue to do business with them. Perhaps the rep failed them in some way, should they then pay more or purchase a product that they like less? This side of the equation I have often encountered when I would assume the role of purchasing at a new company. I would often say "why don't we carry this line?" And the response without fail is often "the rep made us angry". Often accounts are rejecting a perfectly good line at a great price point because of an emotion. They have now allowed their "feelings" (whatever those are) to trump their business analytics. They have gone into angry bird mode, and they are now not making business decisions. While this was frustrating as a rep, it was ten times more frustrating when trying to manage an office stuck in old feelings about a company. Business is far better when positivity and optimism are driving forces.
One last note, as a former rep, I see right through the emotional sales pitch. Analytical buyers just want data and service and maybe later we will become friends:).