Written by Sean McPheat |
Many salespeople are afraid of their clients talking about the competition. To most salespeople, it is a word that is sure to incur fear and trepidation into their presentation or even their approach. They assume that the client will be looking at the competition and when (not if) they are mentioned, it causes deflation and disappointment that you weren’t the only one on their list.
Your competition have you up a gumtree if you think this way. Your opinions of your competition will determine your success in dealing with the client.
But there’s a competitor of yours that can cause major challenges, and for many salespeople it can stop the sale in its tracks. You can maybe cope with your competitor who has a price advantage over you; you can probably deal with your competitor who can match your quality or service; but the one competitor that can make you melt away in front of the client is when they say ‘we’re happy as we are, thanks!”.
Yes, your greatest competitor can very often be the status quo. If a customer is happy with what they are currently experiencing, it can be very difficult to get them to identify why they should change. That’s why they’re happy; they have what they want.
So, how do you compete against the status quo? There are basically two ways.
Firstly, you get the prospect to see there might be alternatives to what is currently happening. If they have good back-up service, and it is the most important criteria in their buying-decision process, then you can discuss what the result would be if they could enjoy better quality back-up service from you.
Similarly, if they have good pricing structures with their current suppliers, and again this is the criteria they judge their suppliers on, then you can determine how the offers you can make will increase their profitability as a business.
You are trying to disrupt the status quo by showing the prospect other options that might be available for them to contemplate. You show how the changes could develop their business greater than the current situation.
That way, you get them to realise that there is something different to what they currently know and do. The difference would make an impression on their business in such a way that the status quo would not still be a viable option. That’s how you overcome your biggest competitor.
Originally published: 2 July, 2013