As a buyer, you want to be sure that a vendor’s sales person is telling you something rather than selling you something.

Sometimes it’s hard to discern whether a company has a specific product or service element that you’re looking for. Do they really have it, or they putting up ‘smoke and mirrors’ and giving you the impression they have something, when in fact they would have to build it, get it, or wriggle out of it if it’s not explicitly called out in the terms and conditions, should you become a customer?

Buyers who suspect they’re being sold not told on some important part of their requirements need to work hard to get to the truth. Ask direct, closed questions. Look for guarantees or break clauses if certain conditions aren’t met. Ask for references so you can ask both about the vendor’s performance and delivery generally but also about the specific thing that’s close to your wallet.

As a vendor, you really should subscribe to SWYG – sell what you got – or else be prepared to move the goalposts and persuade the buyer that they need something different, something you have. Selling what you don’t have is a recipe for strained relationships with both your customers and the other parts of your business. You’re simply building a rod for your back. If you don’t have close to what they need, nor are you likely to for some time, qualify out. It’s a bad fit for your business.

It’s better to be told than sold – for both parties.