In our sales training courses, we often meet business leaders who tell us about the difficulties their sales teams have with getting their prospects to even consider changing the current supplier.
From my own experience in sales management training, I can say that this is quite common across technology and service sectors, as most prospects won’t see immediate benefits of the change that would justify the hassle and the potential risk.
What to do?
Before we move onto considering if there are sales techniques that can be helpful, I would like you to consider what/who is your biggest competition? At Sandler Sales Training we believe that every salesperson’s biggest competition is their prospect’s reluctance to change not another company. We could also call it inertia, apathy or perhaps ‘better the devil you know’.
Therefore, let’s take a look at change. The change equation below is used to understand what can you do to assist your prospect with seeing, how could your business benefit their business.
D x V x F > R
D – Dissatisfaction. If your prospects are not dissatisfied with their current supplier, there will be no motivation to change. Use Sandler tools that including Reversing, Dummy Curve or Pendulum Theory and allow the prospect uncover their PAIN, creating dissatisfaction with the current situation.
V – Vision. It is crucial for your prospect to have a strong vision for a change to happen. If the vision is weak, the drive towards the change will also be weak. Help your prospect make the vision stronger by using Sandler’sMagic Wand tool and ask them a simple question ‘’If you would have a magic wand, what would you change?’’ or ‘’What would good look like?’’
F – First Steps. Make it easy for your prospect to make the change happen and reduce the risks that could stop them, use such Sandler tools as Monkey’s Paw here.
R – Resistance. Allow your prospect to feel comfortable about this change, it can be done through providing a guarantee for your product/service, social proof, etc. Find out what aspect of the change your prospect is the most uncomfortable with and if there is anything that you can do to help and minimise the risk, use such Sandler tools as Dummy Curve and Up-Front Contract. Be sure to maintain your trusted advisor status.
Do not forget to adapt your communication style to match your prospects, try using this model next time when you are discussing a change of the supplier with your prospect. Do you know what your prospects view on risk is? Do they see it as a challenge or to be avoided at all cost?