This is a common objection and an area we are often asked about in the Q&A sections of our‘Selling at a higher level’ Master classes, as it is faced daily by sales professionals all over the world, normally on a first call or interaction.
Here’s the classic scenario; you’re the sales person, working for a quality telecommunications company calling to try and win new business contracts for your company, from customers who are with a competitor.
Classic responses and objections commonly faced are;
- “We’ve been with X Mobile Company for 15 years, I’ve been dealing with the contract myself for 10 of those, and before me my boss dealt with them since the beginning. They’ve always given a good service, so we see no reason to change. But if ever things change I’ll keep you in mind.”
- “We are one of X Mobile Company’s largest SME customers, they look after us very well. It only ever takes a phone call and they’ve begun helping and doing everything they can to resolve our issues, whether it be faulty equipment, or even a service issue. If they were to let us down in the future I’ll bear your company in mind”.
Although loyalty has a part to play, the largest part of these objections actually stems from confidence. The confidence in their current supplier, as they have received good service for a prolonged period of time. Think about it, why would a buyer change when, over the last X number of years they’ve had little reason to complain? A buyer will only make a switch if they have either a problem with their current supplier or if a new supplier can offer a similar product/service plus benefits – i.e. better design, better features, better delivery, better quality, better lead time or a better price! With standardised repeatable products and services a sudden great advantage is rare, but sales professionals should not be defeated by this, as there are some actions that can be implemented to successfully combat this;
- Remember that when all things are equal, your customer will buy from the salesperson they like the most. Use your understanding of this simple point to your advantage, as your competitors may not. Ensure you are recording times and dates of past and future contact - aim for the right amount of contact, not too much nor too little, this is a basic step where competitors may fall down. Research from McKinsey states that 35% of buyers state too much contact is the most destructive sales behaviour!
- Keep motivated and positive – remember a sale is not likely to take place on your first interaction, or maybe not even on your fifth or sixth, but over time a buyer’s mind can be influenced and changed by a friendly approach, enthusiasm, a solid understanding of the industry they operate in, as well as being keen to obtain their custom. Our first sales mantra is ‘business fit, business value, developing long-term relationships’. Remember this and you’ll listen more and respond with more relevance.
- Have a clear message and objective for each interaction, whether it be in the form of a meeting, phone call, email or via social media, rather than just contacting a customer for contact or activity’s sake.
- On each call never be afraid of reinforcing your understanding and your ambition to one day do business with them and their company. A typical suggestion is to say something along the lines of; “I fully understand and appreciate the reason behind your loyalty to Company X, but as I have made you aware, it is my ambition and hope that at some point we get the same opportunity as Competitor X has had in the past. As I’ve previously stated I’d love the opportunity to prove to you that although what we offer is similar, it can deliver substantial benefits, as part of what I feel could be a stronger all-round option for your business….” – This kind of interaction and language demonstrates empathy, patience, enthusiasm, as well as product knowledge, all key criteria in changing a buyers mind-set over time.
durhamlane sales mantra #2 Professional. Humble. Courteous. Pro-active. Hungry. Ambitious.
To attain those customers who initially refuse to look at new suppliers or switch to your product, you must have patience and perseverance, set context and demonstrate the clear benefits your product or service brings Sooner or later the customer will come around. Why? Because you now know unlike your competition, that the majority of sales people calling will give up too readily, accepting a ‘No’ as a no, rather than taking a ‘No’ today as an opportunity for the future. Develop and nurture the relationship, and this way you will in time gain those much sort after customers.
To find out more about our training options visit our website - www.durhamlane.co.uk, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our training team on 0191 481 3800.