How to get from “I’m Satisfied” to “I’m Sold!”
“I’m satisfied with my present supplier.”
Great, just what you wanted to hear. But don’t get discouraged with this one; it’s actually pretty easy to get an opening and begin a relationship if you can get the prospect talking. Just because he’s is satisfied now, doesn’t mean won’t buy now.
Realize that what your prospect is saying is that their existing supplier is the best they’ve been able to find.
You may have a better product, price, availability for delivery, service, training, or warranty. The prospect is only telling you he’s satisfied from his perspective. He doesn’t really know about you or your company yet.
Here are some things you can do to get the “satisfaction” ball rolling in your direction:
Get information about the present vendor: “How have you successfully used…” and “How did your present relationship begin?” and “What do you like about the vendor you’re using?” and “Is there anything that bugs you about the relationship?” (press for info on this one)
Show a difference: “We have recently introduced new technologies that go beyond your present equipment (or industry standard), and would appreciate an opportunity to show you how that benefits your business.”
Issue a challenge: “I’m sure you will agree, Mr. Prospect, that as a businessman, you owe it to your business to continue to actively seek out the best value.” A satisfied buyer may indicate a complacent supplier. Offer to do all the comparative work.
Give an experienced response: “Mr. Jones, when I personally have a satisfactory vendor, I still need another vendor as a point of reference to make sure I’m getting the best price, selection of products and value.”
Question his selection process (not his selection): “What standards do you judge your vendors by?” Raising the question of standards will get the prospect thinking about future performance not just past.
Your challenge is to position yourself to where there is a CHANCE for you to earn the business. The prospect must either doubt the present supplier or have enough confidence in you to take a risk. This position must be established BEFORE you can get an order.
Here are 4.5 keys to help you create opportunities for orderpositioning…
1. Find out how the relationship with his present source began. Get a historical perspective. Find out how he began with his present supplier. Ask the prospect what gave him the confidence to go with (the competition) when he made that decision some time back? Ask if he would be willing to take the same small risk in you, so that you could earn their business.
2. Ask the two important openended questions: “What are the things you like about the vendor?” and “What would you improve if you could?”
3. Create some doubt: “Mr. Prospect, if you were (pick one) a. paying 20% too much, b. not getting full value, c. not taking full advantage from your present supplier, how would you know it?” OR (when buying from a friend) “If it wasn’t for the friend, would you still buy from the company?”
4. If you get a chance to give some information, you’d better make it sound great. Be sure to stress that you have longterm relationships with your customers. Build confidence. Tell the prospect you’re interested in slowly cultivating one with him and you don’t expect a total switch, but an evolution of judgment and proof by performance. Say you’d like the same opportunity you gave (present supplier) back when you issued him that first order.
5. Employ the What’s best for your company strategy. You say, “Mr. Johnson, I’m sure in the long run you want to do what’s best for the company, don’t you? And even though you’re “satisfied” at the moment, that does not necessarily mean that your existing relationship is the best there is, does it? I believe we can help your company (insert reason) and I’m asking you to explore the possibilities of something better than you have now. Is that fair enough?
4.5 Go for the sample or trial order. Something small to get your foot in the door, and prove your worth to the prospect. If you sell a product that isn’t “allornothing” (printing, clothing, computer repair, ad specialties, photography) go for a test or trial risk.
If the prospect has a good longterm relationship with their present supplier and you really want the business and you really believe you can help your prospect improve themselves or their business start building a relationship with him now.
Get your Mackay 66 (personal information questionnaire) filled out and start using it. There is no better way. Tell the prospect you want to begin the same way he started with his present source.
Go slow, start small, win big.
FREE GitBit… Why are they satisfied? For the 12.5 reasons your prospect likes the vendor he’s currently using, Just go to www.gitomer.com click FREE STUFF then GitBit register and enter the secret words, “I’M SATISFIED”.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112