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Buying and Selling Laboratory Instruments: A Practical Consulting Guide

ISBN: 978-0-470-40401-0
160 pages
July 2010
Buying and Selling Laboratory Instruments: A Practical Consulting Guide (0470404019) cover image
A time-tested, systematic approach to the buying and selling of complex research instruments

Searching for the best laboratory instruments and systems can be a daunting and expensive task. A poorly selected instrument can dramatically affect results produced and indirectly affect research papers, the quality of student training, and an investigator's chances for advancement. Buying and Selling Laboratory Instruments offers the valuable insights of an analytical chemist and consultant with over four decades of experience in locating instruments based upon both need and price. It helps all decision makers find the best equipment, service, and support while avoiding the brand-loyalty bias of sales representatives so you can fully meet your laboratory's requirements.

The first section of the book guides buyers through the hurdles of funding, purchasing, and acquiring best-fit instruments at the least-expensive price. It explains how to find vendors that support their customers with both knowledgeable service and application support. Also offered is guidance on adapting your existing instruments to new applications, integrating new equipment, and what to do with instruments that can no longer serve in research mode.

The second section explains the sales process in detail. This is provided both as a warning against manipulative sales reps and as a guide to making the sale a win-win process for you and your vendor. It also shows you how to select a knowledgeable technical guru to help determine the exact system configuration you need and where to find the best price for it. Added bonuses are summary figures of buying sequence and sales tools and an appendix containing frequently asked questions and memory aids.

Buying and Selling Laboratory Instruments is for people directly involved in selecting and buying instruments for operational laboratories, from the principle investigator to the person actually delegated with investigating and selecting the system to be acquired. Sales representatives; laboratory managers; universities; pharmaceutical, biotech, and forensic research firms; corporate laboratories; graduate and postdoctoral students; and principle investigators will not want to be without this indispensible guide.

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PREFACE.

PART ONE PURCHASING LABORATORY INSTRUMENTS.

1 Selecting Laboratory Instruments.

1.1 Modular Systems.

1.2 Systems-in-a-Box.

1.3 Automation.

1.4 Data Archival and Recovery.

2 Step-By-Step Purchasing.

3 Analytical Instrument Specifications.

3.1 Dedicated Packages versus Component Systems.

3.2 Critical Features of Laboratory Instruments.

3.2.1 Universal Laboratory Equipment.

3.2.2 Spectroscopy and Analyzer Instruments.

3.2.3 Separation Systems.

3.2.4 Definitive Chromatography Systems.

3.2.5 Automation Accessories.

3.2.6 Mass Analyzer Selection.

3.3 Dedicated Analysis Facilities.

4 Finding The Best Price.

4.1 Price Quotations.

4.2 Government Service Administration (GSA) Pricing.

4.3 Instrument Selection.

4.3.1 Fitting Your Needs and Budget.

4.3.2 Consider Service and Support.

4.4 Demonstration Equipment Discounts.

4.5 Discounting in Kind.

4.6 The Modular Trap.

4.7 Buying Used Equipment.

4.8 New System Warranties.

5 Grants and Bidding.

5.1 Logical Bidding Specifications.

5.2 Dealing with Purchasing Agents.

5.3 Using GSA Pricing.

5.4 Quantity Discounting.

6 Instrument Vendor Support.

6.1 In-House Demonstrations and Seminars.

6.2 User Training Schools.

6.3 Vendor Application Development Laboratories.

6.4 Technically Trained Sales Representatives.

6.5 Vendor-Sponsored Technical Meetings.

6.6 Postsales Support.

6.7 Cost of Consumables.

7 Laboratory Instrument Service.

7.1 Quality Is Job 1, Quality Service Is Job 2.

7.2 Separating Instrument and Application Problems.

7.3 Reverse-Order Diagnosis.

7.4 Service Resources.

7.5 Spare Parts Inventory.

7.6 Diagnosing Grounding and Static Problems.

8 Recycling The System.

8.1 The Dedicated Recycled System.

8.2 Technician Training Instruments.

8.3 University Instrument Donation.

8.4 Used-Instrument Resale.

8.5 Metal Recycling.

PART TWO A GUIDE TO THE SELLING PROCESS.

9 Buying Relationships.

9.1 Win/Lose Selling Relationships.

9.2 Win/Win Selling Relationships.

9.3 Buying Hardware, Service, and Support.

9.4 Advantages of A Profitable Vendor.

9.5 Getting What You Pay for and Need.

10 Sales Justification.

10.1 Emotional Decision Making.

10.2 Reasons for an Instrument Selection.

10.3 Purpose of the Decision.

10.4 Path to a Sales Decision.

10.5 The Qualifying Sales Interview (ADMANO).

11 Profiling the Sales Call.

11.1 Training Salespeople.

11.2 Hot Button Analysis (HBA).

11.2.1 Verbal/Visual Placement.

11.2.2 Handling Graded Placement.

11.2.3 Motivational Hot Buttons.

11.3 Selling to Each Hot Button Type.

12 Objections in the Sales Process.

12.1 Systematic Selling.

12.1.1 Establishing Trust.

12.1.2 Helping to Create Desire or Need.

12.1.3 Showing That Your Equipment Will Help.

12.1.4 Creating Sales Urgency.

12.2 Assistance of Sales Tools.

12.3 Use of Demonstration Equipment.

13 Step-by-Step Instrument Selling.

14 Closing the Sale.

14.1 Assumptive Closes.

14.2 Manipulative Closes.

14.3 Final Closing and the Lost Sale Close.

15 The Laws of Selling.

15.1 Salespeople Are Made, Not Born.

15.2 You Only Have One Chance to Make a Good First Impression.

15.3 Salespersons Ask Questions, Not Make Statements.

15.4 Fear of Loss Is More Important Than Desire for Gain.

15.5 If You do not ask, the Answer Is Automatically No.

15.6 Listen More Than You Talk.

15.7 Objections Are a Sign of Interest.

15.8 Do Not Argue, Ask for Clarification.

15.9 Body Language Can Defuse Sales Tension.

15.10 Emotional Buying and Logical Justification.

15.11 People Want to Be Fair.

15.12 Honesty Is Good Business.

15.13 Never Criticize an Opponent.

15.14 TANSTAAFL.

15.15 Explaining Quality or Apologizing for the Price.

15.16 The Word Sales Comes from Serving.

16 Handling Problems.

16.1 Warranties and Customer Expectations.

16.2 Dealing with a Lemon.

16.3 Instrument Success Goals.

16.4 Providing Application Support.

16.5 Territory Management.

16.6 Confidentiality.

16.7 Sales Integrity.

Appendix A Frequently Asked Questions.

A.1 Frequently Asked Purchasing Questions.

A.2 Frequently Asked Questions About New Instruments.

A.3 Frequently Asked Questions about the Selling Process.

Appendix B Memory Aids, Figures, and Tables.

Appendix C Glossary of Purchasing and Sales Terms.

Appendix D Troubleshooting Quick Reference.

D.1 Troubleshooting the Purchase.

D.2 Troubleshooting the Sale.

Appendix E Selected Reading List.

INDEX.

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MARVIN C. McMASTER, PhD, is a consultant and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where he teaches courses on HPLC, GC/MS, LC/MS, and laboratory computing. He is a former researcher and product developer for DuPont, Kraft Foods, and Ciba-Geigy, and previously worked as a technical sales support specialist for Waters, Beckman, and Pharmacia. In addition to this book, Dr. McMaster is the author of HPLC: A Practical User's Guide, Second Edition; GC/MS: A Practical User's Guide, Second Edition; and LC/MS: A Practical User's Guide, all from Wiley.
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"This is a very useful book, which I wish I had had available when I was engaged in buying instrumentation.
It enables buyers to organize their thoughts about the process so less effort is required to achieve a more
successful outcome ." (Anal Bioanal Chem, 2010)
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