How do you get a prospect to move their business to your company?
Have you ever made the sale and then lost it straight away?
I’ve heard a number of instances recently where sales people have closed the deal with a prospect. But then nothing has happened. The promised business has not appeared.
On closer investigation it has turned out that the prospect has got cold feet at the last minute. It’s not that they distrust the sales person. Rather, they are afraid to break up with their old supplier.
An essential part of the sales process is to help customers commit
Part of this commitment process includes ensuring the prospect understands that they will be breaking with their current supplier. They have to be able and confident to do this.
Print sales people that help prospects with this process are more likely to create a lasting relationship. They are better placed to control the prospect journey. So it’s more probable that they will achieve their sales targets.
Sales people that forget this process may struggle to win the sales that they are hoping for. They risk losing prospects they thought were going to become customers because they have not created the right relationship.
Here are three tactics to help prospects move from their current suppliers and to commit to you.
Raise the commitment issue upfront
Be open. Ask your prospect how they feel about moving from their current supplier. It is important that you understand how they are feeling about this.
If a prospect says they are happy to move from their existing printing company, ask them how they are going to do this. Get them to visualize the process. You want o be sure that they really are happy about this stage of moving to you.
Often the prospect may not have planned this conversation. Or they may have concerns about it. In these cases, it is time to move on to the second strategy.
Help a prospect plan how to break up with their current supplier
You are well placed to help your prospects and customers deal with the competition. You are able to offer advice on the best way to do this – perhaps from bitter experience of ex-clients doing this to you!
One thing you can help train a prospect in is how to deal with any tricky objections from current printing companies. It is often these bits of a conversation that a customer is unprepared for. It is at this point that the original vendor can persuade someone to stay.
Even then, some customers may be concerned about moving. Here’s one more tactic.
Consider writing a letter or having a call on behalf of your prospect
I have heard of at least one sales person who manages the break up process on behalf of their prospect. Personally, I think it is an extreme tactic. It should be used with caution. However, it could be the action that makes the difference between winning the customer or not.
Some sales people may have concerns about using any of these strategies.
“Have you ever made the sale and then lost it straight away?” https://t.co/Yxcf3C6cKU
— Matthew Parker (@PrintChampion) May 16, 2016
Is this really the job of the sales person?
Some people believe that the sales person should stick to pure selling. However, sales people need to close the deal. Making sure that a prospect is prepared to move their business to you is part of that closing process.
Some may also feel that buyers may feel that this type of conversation is inappropriate. However, if a prospect is pushing back then you may not have built up the right level of relationship yet.
Remember, a prospect that dislikes the process of changing print supplier is a great potential customer. They are not in the habit of changing suppliers lightly. That means they are much more likely to be a sticky customer.
It’s time to take action on this
Make sure that you map out a process that helps prospects to break up with their current supplier. Consider how you will raise the issue upfront. Decide how you can help coach them through the break-up process. Think about if you would be prepared to make a call or write a letter on their behalf.
Make sure you win the customers you deserve!
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