Written by Sean McPheat |
Here’s a question I received last week:
On the phone: When the possible client tells you that he is happy with his existing supplier how would you break that barrier to get the meeting with him anyway?
I’m Happy You’re Happy!!
WHAT barrier? How do you break that barrier?
Here is a question for everyone to think about, and I am not being sarcastic.
I want you seriously to think about this: When the prospect says, “I’m happy with my supplier…” What barrier, what objection, what problem are we talking about?
A few seconds into a cold call the prospect says he or she is happy with their current supplier.
What’s the problem?
OF COURSE he or she is happy with their current supplier. What kind of a decent business person would NOT be happy with whom they are doing business with?
Think about it: A business manager is doing business with a company that he is unhappy or unsatisfied in doing business with. WHY on earth would he continue doing business with that company even for a minute?
Is he stupid?
If he was unhappy, then why did he or she not rectify the situation before? Was he waiting for you to call, while in the mean time his company was losing money or service by continuing to work with a substandard vendor?
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As sales people, we too often fall into the trap of looking for the prospect that is sitting there waiting for us to call. This is a mistake. Frankly, I don’t want to do business with the manager or director who has been doing business with a supplier that they do not want to do business with. This person is could be incompetent or at best, a lousy manager.
Of course they are happy and I am happy that they are happy!
Now, again, what is the barrier that we talking about?
Are you asking this person, after only a few seconds on the telephone, to drop their current supplier and do business with you? Of course not.
All you are seeking is a meeting, right? Ok. Then what does the fact that they are happy have to do with the price of tea in China?
Too often we try to skip over the steps in the sales process. When calling for an appointment—just sell the appointment—just sell the meeting. They are happy, so what? You are not asking them to drop their supplier and give you the business. All you are looking for is a meeting.
That’s all—just a meeting.
“I’m sorry but I am very happy with my current supplier. I have been doing business with them for 14 years now, and I am not thinking about changing.”
“Great! I’m glad to hear that Mr. Prospect and if you were NOT happy with your supplier, then I would have to wonder how you were running your business. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not asking you to change suppliers or to even THINK about doing something like that. In fact, I have not yet EARNED the right even to ask you. The purpose of my call is to introduce myself and ABC Company and simply to update you of the options, which I am certain that as a savvy business man, you always want to stay informed of.
“Mr. Prospect, over a cup of coffee, I’ll update you on the options available and provide you with some very valuable information that will be beneficial to you whether we ever do any business or not. If our relationship goes any further than this one meeting, it will only be because YOU want it to. I can see you on Tuesday at 4:15?”
Now you know me, and you know that the above example is in no way meant to be a script.
That example represents the way of THINKING; the mentality you have to have.
Don’t skip steps in the sales process. First get the appointment. Then make the presentation, then the proposal. Don’t look for the lay downs.
Sell ONLY the meeting.
Originally published: 27 August, 2008