5 Reasons Your Prospect Won’t Switch
I love a challenge and I love nothing more than a good puzzle, working out the most effective way to handle, resolve or influence sales situations. Yes I’m a geek, but that’s also why I love business development and objection-handling.
Incumbent suppliers and existing relationships come up in nearly every session we run and I’ve noticed that there are primarily five reasons sales people are having difficulty getting prospects to ‘switch’ to their service.
There’s no silver bullets and some relationships really are that tight, but you have to remember new business development takes time, huge amounts of sales activity and winning new and major accounts doesn’t just happen overnight.
#1 Talking The Wrong Language
If company A has had a working relationship with supplier B for 10 years, have no issues with the service and like their points of contact, they’re very unlikely to want to ‘switch’ suppliers for less than an extremely compelling reason.
I hear a lot of people talk about ‘switching’ and in my opinion this can be part of the problem.
The term ‘switch’ generally implies ceasing activity with one supplier and becoming active with another. Generally something you look to do only if you’re supplier has been successful in upsetting you in some way!
Think about it. Why would they switch to you when they have a 10 year relationship with supplier A?
Answer is… They probably wouldn’t.
So with that in mind, let’s look at a different approach….
A good way to persuade your prospects is to not scare them with big decisions early on. At this stage in the relationship you need to build your credibility, trustworthiness and relationship with that prospect.
#2 We’re Better Because…
I really don’t like this. Even if competitor X is rubbish or has known flaws and you know it, I don’t think it’s attractive to mention it off your own accord.
You need to be different. If you want your prospect to switch they need to warm to you, which will only happen by being humble and positive about the competition and their current business relationships.
Target your prospects carefully and make sure you’ve always got a good angle when you get in touch.
#3 Asking Too Much Too Early
The chances of someone giving you all of their business off the back of a few phone calls and e-mails, even a meeting, no matter how awesome they may be; in reality, is quite slim.
Again, at this stage in the relationship you need to build your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of that customer with the ultimate aim of developing a Champion.
After all, you’re going to be the only reason they place an order if they do. I mean, they’re not coming to us are they?
So let’s not set our sights on that just yet. Instead, you need to be a bit smart.
When hunting for new business, unless appropriate to do otherwise (inbound leads/ unhappy with current supplier/ competitive situations) I’d suggest that it can be better to ask for a smaller commitment initially, do a great job and prove yourself, allowing you the opportunity to then nurture and grow the account and the relationship, than to go for the big score straight off the bat and risk coming away with nothing.
I mean if you’re really as good at what you do as you say you are, growing these accounts into long-term sustainable business should be very achievable. Shouldn’t it?
#4 Not Being Persuasive Enough.
Everyone persuades, whether it’s your partner, colleagues, parents, staff and it’s important you’re actively trying to persuade prospects too (where appropriate.)
Beginning by getting down onto the same level as the prospect is key to a good footing for these sorts of conversations. See the example below to a typical incumbent supplier objection.
“I completely understand where you’re coming from, changing suppliers would be a big decision and a lot or our current customers felt exactly the same way but what they tend to find is that by using more than one supplier they can access the most competitive prices in the industry across a wider range of products which helps increase their profits. Rather than going for the full package from day one, why don’t you just look at x to start with?”
#5 No Good Angles & Generic Approaches
Approaching prospects with a generic approach is usually a bad idea too. You should always have a clearly defined objective for each call or meeting you make and should never pick up the phone without an angle, observation or piece of information your prospect is likely to see value in that you can use to engage them in conversation.
If you only get in touch for good reasons with useful information or to communicate attractive offers to entice their first order, you stand more chance of being seen as useful contact than a pestering sales person and as time goes on your relationship becomes warmer and warmer.
The reality is, the better you tailor your approach to the prospect, the better it’s likely to be received.
Do a little research, think about what you’re doing and maximise your chances by demonstrating knowledge, using observations and identifying angles to open good conversations. Those conversations are what build relationships and grow your business.
Try this perspective…
Q: What is the role of a sales person?
A: To build relationships and persuade Prospects to make a decision in your favour, now.
There are some stats flying around saying that it’s 70% easier to generate 3% additional revenue from your existing accounts that it is to generate it in new business because the relationships are already there in most cases.
We need to do what we can to make it easier for your prospects to say YES!
Need help? Call a member of our friendly team today.
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