If you're in sales you've faced the challenge of asking a prospect to divorce their current vendor/supplier/partner and do business with you instead. As you work on your sales plan for 2014, your target list is going to include the need to encourage prospects to initiate divorce proceedings so you can win their business. Divorce is just as traumatic in business and as it is in a personal situation. But divorce is exactly what you want the prospect to do. So how can you get them to make the transition to doing business with you?
Here are five tips that will help you create the case for getting the prospect to leave your competitor for you:
Ask yourself why the prospect should switch to your company.
If you don't have a compelling answer then you must find one. Your face may be pretty and your product may be great, but that's not enough to make a company go through the pain of starting a new business relationship
What pain relief can you provide?
Can you offer the prospect a concrete plan that will take much of the burden of change off their shoulders? Banks have learned that getting a propsect to close an account with their old bank and open a new one with them is really an inconvenience for the new customer. To reduce this roadblock, many banks have developed "on-boarding" systems that reduce the work and frustration for the customer as an incentive to switch. Can you streamline your processes like credit assessments or first order turn around times? Removing the "pain" in change is key to getting your prospect to buy from you.
Eliminate the "all or nothing" mentality
Be willing to start small with the prospect. Don't ask for all of their business. You must prove yourself first before they are going to give up an acceptable existing relationship. Find one product or service that you are confident will give the prospect serious value and focus on selling that. Look for the weaknesses in your competitor's product or service offerings and concentrate on breaking into the account by showing your strength in this one area.
Ask what it will take for them to make a change.
Too many sales professionals are afraid to ask the WHY? It is perfectly ethical, professional and appropriate to ask what you need to do to earn their business. Your manner must be sincere and professional - not accusatory or derisive. Once you learn what may be preventing the prospect from switching to you, you will have the information you need to develop a successful selling strategy for this prospect.
Patience is often not a strong suit for sales people. Many of us are in sales for the instant gratification that comes with closing a sale and getting a nice commission check. But getting a new customer to give you their business over their current vendor or partner will take time. Securing good business takes time and hard work. I remember a prospect I desperately wanted. Partly because no on else had been able to sell them. They were a huge national financial services company that just didn't like change. It took me five years while working for 2 different companies before I earned a small piece of their business. I was thrilled and I serviced this new customer to death. In a year I had earned all of their business for my region and within 2 years we had their national business too! Patience paid off. Remember - business easily won is also business easily lost!
Learn the finer points of a successful business divorce! Call Catalytic Management today and we'll share the secrets of how to displace the competition in your target prospect list!
Did You Know?
As you begin planning for 2014, we wanted to share some ideas from experts we trust!