Although many sales reps do not want to admit it, they have taken a client for granted at least once. One reps top client is usually someone elses number one prospect. There is a tendency to take our current clients for granted in a rush to procure new business.
I am often asked how to get business away from an account where the competition is firmly entrenched. I always look for a small crack in the door that the competitor has left. Do not be the one who leaves the door open. The basic rules of good salesmanship do not change even if the client is a good personal friend. The account must perceive value no matter what the relationship.
The majority of prospects buy on emotion. Listed below are six unconventional tactics that can turn a prospects head away from the competition and towards your company.
1. Develop an inside coach: A rep needs to learn about a prospect as quickly as possible. Get advice from people who already have knowledge of the business and know contacts who can influence the decision-maker. Coaching can come from inside the business or from people, such as vendors, who already work with the prospect.
2. Use the referral alliance: We live in a small world. A rep can throw the prospects name around with their current circle of clients and see if anyone has a relationship with the prospect. In most cases, this practice can lead to a call from a satisfied client to the prospect. People want to do business with individuals who are successful. Sometimes a prospect needs an outside voice to move the process along.
3. Get more influencers to help: A rep needs to penetrate deeply into all different levels of this account. If the client is firmly entrenched with the competitor, a new rep will need to go deeper in developing relationships apart from the main decision-maker. Meet the salespeople on the floor and the business manager. Dont forget the warehouse personnel. This is not an easy process. The deeper the rep digs, the better their chances are of making this prospect a client.
4. Ask prospects for a wish list: Try to satisfy the customers wildest expectations. What do they want from their rep? Ask them, then figure a way to make it happen.
5. Walk their business. It amazes me when a rep thinks they should earn a meeting with a prospect without first walking the business. I tell reps to walk it once, walk it twice, and keep walking the business until they know that business like an employee.
6. Build a customer profile: A rep should have a thorough knowledge of the customers personality, likes and dislikes, family members, education, community involvement, and much more. Ask this question: Do my competitors have a better profile of the customer than I do? If they do, it will be difficult to dislodge this prospect. If not, the chances of selling this prospect over a period of time are extremely high.
Remember the old saying: Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, and the other is gold. Closing a new account takes three times the effort, money, and time versus keeping existing customers. Protect the home front, and then go for the gold!
Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor with the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
As seen on Radio Ink Headlines