Increase your sales by using these simple C-level relationship selling, sales tips. Steal your competitors’ accounts. They are qualified, and they buy your type of products / services. Your competitors sell to these accounts. So what’s not to like, except they are not buying from you. To make you feel worse your main contacts at these competitive accounts are very cordial, yet let you know they’re happy with your competitors. Therefore, you assume everybody, including the powerful C-Level decision makers, love the competitors and will never change. Then one day you realize another competitor has penetrated one or two of these accounts and now you’re really bummed.
So here are some sales tips. You’re usually only talking with one or two contacts and you’re getting limited feedback, which is probably from the competitors’ sponsor/s. You must realize there are always problems with incumbents. If nobody presents themselves as an alternative or second source, the account sticks to whom they have until something big happens. Then every competitor is called to bid. Companies shy away from the bidding / investigation process because it’s cumbersome, takes time and is a pain. So they stick with the incumbent, even though they’re not happy.
So here’s the sales tip to increase your sales. Set yourself up as the second source. In this way when there’s dissatisfaction (which is regularly) someone will call you for a second opinion – so to speak. It’s easy if that someone can just pick up the phone and call a second source that’s shown they’re qualified and acceptable. However, if you’re only talking with one person and that person is in tight with the competitor, you’ll never get a call. So you have to get to other people, especially the C-levels and their staff and ask, “What do I have to do to be considered your number two supplier?” Then, explain to them how you can meet those requirements. Do this and I guarantee you’ll start increasing your sales within a few weeks.
Sales Tips to Prepare Yourself
- Cite an example where you’ve displaced an existing vendor. How did you do it?
- Cite an example where you’ve shared a customer with a competitor. How did you do it?
- Have your competitors ever messed up but still maintained the lion’s share of business? Cite an example. How did they do it?
- Pick 3 of your competitors’ accounts:
- Who are their sponsors / strong supporters?
- How can you network to others in those accounts to get exposure and a bigger perspective?
- Learn if the C-Level executives feel the existing vendor is special or just gets the job done?
- If you can learn the leaders’ threats and opportunities, you can offer some ideas that may give you a point of entry.
- What are the likes and dislikes of the competition as seen by each C-Level executives?
- List reasons why a company would want a second source?
- Use these to expose and entice your new contacts, but don’t push.
- List your competitor’s customers. Commit to getting an interview with someone you’ve never spoken to before. Sales Tip: look for someone outside the norm.
- List some actions to stay Number One with your existing customers to be sure someone doesn’t replace you.
Tak’n It to the Streets Sales Tips
- List three of your competitors’ accounts. You set the criteria – big, small, etc.
- How will you start the process of positioning yourself as #2 to increase your sales?
- Who will you call? Look for other company people to start – i.e. their sales people.
- What will you say? Sales tip: “Can you help me get to……”
- How will you use this person and others to network you upward? Sales tip: Ask them for an introduction.
By John Hester