We are in a ‘PROVE IT TO ME’ Sales Era – so how does this affect you as it relates to your competitors?
When customers are desperate for proof, they are doing so in light of a few dynamics such as price, value and quality. But there is another consideration, which is of course, your competition. You can confidently assume that 90% of the prospective customers you meet are also looking at a competitor’s solutions. The power of the internet is providing today’s buyers with so much choice. Barriers to entry are also lower than ever before for your competitors. There are all sorts of systems, virtual store fronts and receptions, plus great looking websites that mean competitors come from nowhere to appear on your customer’s radar.
So let’s look at how you can position yourself effectively as the preferred supplier against a competitor without pulling them apart and making yourself sound like a pushy salesperson (because, let’s face it, there’s nothing worse).
Here are a few tips to help you prove to customers that you are the better choice over your competition:
1. Don’t slate your competitors. Denigrating your competition in front of your customer may prove only that you are confrontational and unprofessional. This is best to be avoided as it may weaken your position, not theirs.
2. Conduct regular research. A competitive analysis including mystery shopping is a key ingredient to staying on top of your game in the bid to prove worth against competitors.
3. Be aware that even if you know your solution is better than the one your prospect already has in place, don’t assume they will move to you. Sometimes your customer will know they have an inferior product or service but don’t want to do anything about it! This seems illogical to some inexperienced salespeople, and they get very frustrated.
4. Compare value and results against competitors. This is much different to slating the competition (see the first tip). This can easily be achieved by explaining that many of the customers you meet today are also looking at competitors and that they found it very helpful when you ran a comparison for them to show them the key differentiators they would achieve.
HERE’S A GREAT EXAMPLE…
Let’s say you’re selling an insurance policy. Your competitors may offer a lower entry price for the first year, which is what your customers want. However, through your research, you establish that in the second year, they actually double the premium to compensate for the first year – meaning your customers will actually pay more with your competitors over a two year period than they would with you. You will only know this information if you do your research, and then put together a ‘total cost of ownership’ number for your clients. A convincing way to get the business!
REMEMBER – Know the differentiators of your competition, but don’t bash them. Bring YOUR value and YOUR differentiators to life.
If you’d like us to put together a workshop for your sales team on this topic, please call us now to discuss – 0207 043 1582.
There is also a whole chapter dedicated to the ‘PROVE IT TO ME’ Era in our book The Natural Sales Evolution. Let us know if you’d like a free hard copy and we’ll pop one in the post.