Do prospects sometimes say ‘I am happy with my current supplier.’ It happened to me often when I was working full time in sales.
Maybe your prospect is really happy – delighted even? Maybe they have just got used to and accept the average or even mediocre standard of product or service they are purchasing and have just been too busy dealing with so many other seemingly more important challenges?
The fact is that unless they are really unhappy with their current supplier and are actively looking for an alternative at the time you contact them, it is unlikely you are going to replace their current supplier immediately. If you attempt to, unless handled extremely well, it can be tantamount to telling your prospect they are foolish for buying the other product or service.
Here is one strategy I find works well to increase sales…
Make it clear to the prospect that it is not your intention to try to replace their current provider. Instead, you would like to explore with them ways you can either:
Add value to what they are currently purchasing, possibly within their current budgets
and / or
Provide a better or improved product or service in just one area of their purchasing requirements and enable them to test you and compare you to their current supplier.
Ask them questions about their current supplier such as…
– What do you like best about what they do?
– Is there one thing about their product / service you would like to see improved?
– Is there anything they could or should be doing for you that they do not or cannot currently do?
– When was the last time you made a market comparison?
Ask questions about their business that:
– Identify problems they know they have and problems they maybe did not realise they had.
– Identify opportunities that you could help them exploit that maybe they were not aware of.
As an example, last year I was referred by a client to an organisation with a forty-five person sales team. During our Skype meeting, they explained they had been using the same sales training company for several years.They were very happy with the service they received, the sales team’s overall performance and had no intention of changing providers.
After further questioning, it transpired that the one area they had not considered and, after my prompting, were now not at all happy with was the number of referrals their sales people obtained. The team had to invest much of their time cold calling for appointments which was not the most productive use of their time.
I suggested, and it was agreed, that I be brought in as part of the training program, but just to coach the sales team on how to obtain many more referrals.
The results are already speaking for themselves – increasing sales – and I expect it will not be too long before I am coaching them on other effective appointment setting strategies too.