Ahhh now for the caveat…
In our previous post, I mentioned that its relatively simple to get other people to sell YOU to the customer. If you shape the buyer’s experience properly, this will work A LOT of the time. The reason? The world is not brimming with stellar salespeople. The world is overflowing with low value, time wasting schlubs. Dont believe me? Go make 5 cold calls and tell me the initial reactions on the faces of the people you meet. That reaction comes from the general view towards salespeople.
So…much of the time, we get to dominate. We get to have the competition serve as our sales assistants when we present a superior alternative.
There is one scenario where it doesn’t matter how good you get. There is something standing in the way of the development of your relationship between you and your dream customer.
You’ve run up against an all star. This is the person you yourself are aspiring to be. This is the professional, proactive, relationship building genius. The issue at hand? They’ve been bringing what you’re offering for the last 2 years, 5 years, 25 years.
The longer a dynamite salesperson has been calling on an account(and not running up the prices because they think they have it in the bag–not an all star tactic by the way), the more difficult that account will be to penetrate.
This is where you must make a business decision. Is it worth banging my head against the wall for this opportunity? The door may not be shut, but you can only see a crack of daylight! Depending on a number of factors, it may be worth pursuing. The key is to remember that you don’t SELL the incumbent by using an inferior approach. You’ve got to make every effort to be seen as MORE valuable, more proactive, and more friendly….and it still isn’t going to work out in a lot of cases. The solid relationship the incumbent vendor has is as close to a magic bullet as can be found in sales…BUT…the numbers game is never not being played…any given day, anyone could win.
So pick your battles. Budget your time wisely…and whatever you do…DO NOT sell the other salesperson.
In the meantime, why don’t you work on closing off a few doors of your own to the competition? Make sure that no matter who calls on your existing accounts, they pale in comparison to what you bring to the table.
Stay tuned for a multitude of ways you can be the “best” in the next post. I want to help you pry open the competition’s doors and install padlocks on yours.