It's a buyer's market

The economy has turned tech sales upside down. This three-day special report details how customers are back in charge, what's on their shopping lists and which sales pitches still work.

Larry Dignan
2 min read
By Larry Dignan, Dawn Kawamoto
and Margaret Kane
February 13, 2003, 4:00 AM PT

Only a few years ago at the height of the Internet boom, companies rushed to buy whatever technologies were considered hot, simply to keep pace with competitors.

Today, just the opposite is true. In making difficult spending decisions, cash-strapped companies are rejecting buzz about "the next big thing" and debunking old myths such as the requirement that PCs must be replaced every three years.

Even the most frugal customers, however, must upgrade their equipment and at least consider purchasing new technologies to avoid obsolescence--as long as they can see a clear return on their investment. Now it's up to the technology manufacturers to figure out which sales pitches will work best with this highly skeptical clientele.

The new pitch is cash, not flash


Editors: Mike Yamamoto, Mike Ricciuti
Copy editor: Scott Martin
Art: Pam Dore
Production: Mike Markovich

Customers are back in charge
In re-evaluating previous purchases, companies are learning that many long-held tenets about technology were overstated. Today's market is dictated by customer needs, not hyped trends.
What's on today's shopping lists
Although budgets are definitely tight, companies do still need to buy some technologies--especially those that can save money and make disparate systems work together.
The new pitch is cash, not flash
Technology sales forces are finding their skills tested as never before. Veteran representatives and customers offer some tips on what works--and what doesn't--in this unforgiving economy.
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