So how do you win their business and add them to your books instead of your competitor’s?
Well, instead of waiting for them to come looking for you when a problem arises or when they are unhappy, there are effective sales techniques you can use to reach out to them directly, prove you are the smarter and better choice, and win the business.
Use Smart Questioning
When talking to this prospect on the phone, the key is to not put them on the defensive with your questioning. Simply asking, "So why did you choose Competitor X?" forces them to justify their selection and can be interpreted as an attack on their reasoning. Instead, ask questions that will build rapport, get them talking, and give you insight into how they chose their supplier.
For example, instead of asking "why?" questions, try these instead:
"How long have you been using them?"
"Were there other suppliers you were considering before making a decision?"
"What influenced the decision to select them?"
Expose The Competitor’s Weaknesses
Once you have the person talking and opening up, now you can ask questions that expose the competitor’s weaknesses. For example:
"How much of your business is lost due to system downtime?"
Use the information you receive to determine what the prospect’s needs are and to point out your strengths. You will want to know these questions ahead of time, so make a list for each of your competitors.
Establish An Open Door
For the times when the prospect won’t budge or has specific ties to a certain competitor, your best tactic is to establish an open door for the future. Here are some additional questions to consider:
"Do you have a backup supplier?"
"If anything changes in the future, would you put me on your list of people to consider?"
"Will you keep my information on file if I can be of service in any way?"
Getting business from an existing supplier isn’t difficult if you ask the right questions, and these can be some of your best and most loyal customers when done right. Best of all, the win is much more gratifying because it comes from a competitor’s pocket.