OMNIA Partners Blog

How Procurement Can Work with Challenging Internal Customers

Posted by OMNIA Partners on October 14, 2013

Having internal customers is hard enough as it is; alleviate unnecessary stress by speaking their language.

A key factor to your success in procurement is working well with cross-functional departments. But sometimes those functional leads can be very reluctant internal customers.

The best way to reach both your goals is to communicate in a way that resonates.

Here are four challenging personalities and tips on how to best communicate with each.

1. “She tries to rush me out of her office; it’s like she doesn’t even care about my process.”

Personality type: Dominant

Traits: Competitive, confrontational, results-oriented

Tips: Make your case using logic instead of emotion, and get to your point quickly. She wants to see the big picture and probably doesn’t need to hear every step of your process. Her goal is to just get the project done and done well, so don’t spend time chit-chatting.

2. “When I bring up any big challenges, it’s like he shuts down and doesn’t want to hear it.”

Personality type: Influencer

Traits: High trust level, not fearful of change, experience-oriented

Tips: He doesn’t respond well to negativity or your “all-business” demeanor. Let him warm up to the conversation by allowing time for social talk. Show emotion by using a friendly tone, and convey your enthusiasm about your partnership.

3. “It’s always question after question after question with this woman. She’s never satisfied!”

Personality type: Analytical

Traits: Critical listener, concern for quality, information-oriented

Tips: Offer details and concrete information, and be sure to respond logically to any questions. Avoid being emotional or informal; she’s task-oriented, not people-oriented. She needs time to analyze all the data you provided before making a decision, so let her have it.

4. “He agrees with all my points, but he never acts on anything!”

Personality type: Accommodating

Traits: Dislikes confrontation, controls his emotion, security-oriented

Tips: Be calm during your conversation and listen attentively. Because he doesn’t like conflict, he might not disagree with you if he thinks you don’t care or are in a rush. Even if he accepts your proposal, he might not actually be satisfied with it, so don’t try force a quick response.

So before you have your next conversation, prepare for your audience. You might find out that person isn’t so hard to work with after all!

Topics: Group Purchasing Organization, Procurement

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