Written by Sean McPheat |
How frustrating is it when your client has gone through your proposal and your presentation and then said ‘I want to shop around and get some quotes form other suppliers’? It’s not obvious from his statement what exactly his objection is to your proposal, so it may be necessary for you to probe a little deeper to find out precisely what he is needing to shop around for.
Here are some ideas on what to do to find out exactly what they will be shopping for:
1) Confirm that they want to get the best product and service around. It may be that they don’t mind what quality they get, as long as it’s cheap. If that’s the case, you need to identify exactly what they want for the money they will be investing. Basically, people want value for money rather than cheap, so you need to confirm if the quality of what you’re offering will be good for them.
2) Ask what they will be checking with the other suppliers. This gets the real objections out in the open, whether it’s price-orientated, delivery-driven or quality-based. It enables you to deal with the challenge up-front if it’s a specific area of concern for him.
3) Confirm that they will buy from the supplier that meets or exceeds their requirements in the particular area(s) they are looking at. This way, you get commitment from them up front
4) Show him your prepared document of how you fare against the competition in all competitive areas. This document shows you’ve done the homework for him. If he’s price-sensitive, look at all the prices your competition offers against similar products, and how you compare against them. Be ready to justify any higher prices you charge through your back-up services, warranties, deliveries, services, etc. This comparison will help your client make the right decision without having to do the legwork themselves.
5) If you don’t have that comparison chart already prepared, tell him you will do it for him and let him have the comparisons. If the competition win, you will tell him how your company can still offer value in other areas that will outweigh the benefits of going with the competition. If they say they don’t want you to go to that trouble, then confirm that their business means a lot to you and you don’t mind going to the trouble of finding out. It keeps you at the top of your game and helps you with your competitor analysis.
So, the prospect saying that he’s shopping around shouldn’t be the major obstacle that many salespeople think it is. If you do your homework properly, you will be able to help your prospect realise you offer the best possible quality and service out of all the competition, and you will save them having to do the hard work themselves. You also prove that you would be the kind of supplier that will offer great back-up and service after they start their partnership with you.
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Originally published: 16 March, 2011