This afternoon’s meeting with a new prospect was very tough. I probably received a higher than usual number of questions, objections and skepticisms. It was a tough call primarily because the prospect is not yet convinced about the capability of our product.
But with these objections raised at this time can significantly lead to closing. Why, objections can lead to interest. I would rather deal with a tough customer who throws questions and valid objections rather than a prospect who appears like they are paying attention but they are not. It means that the customer is interested to see the weakness and the advantage of your project because primarily, he/she is investing a considerable amount of money and he/she should make the purchase worth it.
Selling is not easy, especially if you are dealing with the corporate customers. They are very much concerned with the pricing and the negotiation takes time. I worked as an Account Executive in telecommunications companies and the sales cycle their could be very demanding in nature.
Selling requires patience. Just like customer service, Sales is a profession that entails unlimited supply of patience and understanding. Sales is not meant for the faintest of heart. They say ‘Sales’ drive the business and very true. The company must achieve their targets, hence the desired revenue.
What to do when the competition is strong?
When I pitch on something, I don’t trash the competitor. As much as possible, I approach the customer as an alternative solution first. Trashing the competitor immediately during the first stage of sales cycle can lead to a bad impression. Customer might think that you are just into getting the deal closed immediately rather than helping them solve something.
Today, my client asked me this question. “Why are we going to choose you over your competitor, where in fact, your competitor is far bigger than you?”
Damn, I always get this question, and for an unknown reason, I am still trying to get the perfect answer. I told the client, “Sir, I don’t come here because I want you to replace **** immediately, I come here as an alternative source or channel for your business operation. You can get something from us that is not readily available in ****”
Perhaps he was a bit satisfied with my answer because I see a glow in his eyes. I wanted him to feel that I am not a salesman who is into money (yes, I do want money, bu that comes afterwards). My approach always is to customize everything according to their requirements.
As they always say, Probing is the key to sales success. And prospecting of course.
I love how the client ended our meeting by finally saying “I think what’s wrong with your competitor is that they are way too pedestrian already”.
I said, “that’s a nice word”