Unseating the Incumbent
When I talk about sales objections, there are two that rise to the top of the popularity charts. Both are showstoppers for most salespeople. The first one is, “Your price is too high.” The second one is well, the subject for this week’s blog…
“We already have a vendor.”
Those five words should come as no surprise. After all, it’s not like people are sitting around waiting and hoping that a print salesperson will call them. Of course they have a vendor already!
To accept this objection as impenetrable is to simply give up:
“Can we be your backup?”
“Do you have an old job I could quote on?”
“I figured. Well, thanks anyway. Oh, no, we’re doomed.”
The number one reason why we lose an account is that the customer believes we’ve stopped working for them. After all the hard work it took to get in the door, we’ve moved on to the next prospect and the client feels ignored. Before you know it, a new suitor is at their window making them feel like they’re 18 again and whoosh, just like that, they leave you for another.
Not to freak you out, by the way, but while you are reading these words there is a good chance someone is calling on your accounts. What is your customer saying? If you constantly bring them new ideas and challenge the status quo, you got nothing to worry about. But if not, you had better put some time into a new solution, especially if your competition also reads my blog.
But back to the objection…
Unseating the incumbent can be done a number of ways:
- You can wait it out;
- You can stay top of mind in the client’s psyche.
That last one is accomplished through learning the business needs prospect/client is facing and offering up ideas, unsolicited as they are, to help with these perceived needs. By constantly contacting the customer and describing ways you can help them to grow, you are planting an important seed in their mind: “What has my current vendor done for me lately?” And that is the point of it.