The question of how do you handle the “We're Already Working With Another Supplier” Objection was asked in a sales group on Linkedin that I’m a member of (it’s like a forum for sales reps, but better)
I’d like to say I was surprised at all the free “Advice” that was being offered
however, once again, it was more bad tactics being passed down from one generation to another.
First, let's share some of the common replies / responses that were given on “how to handle” this objection:
Caution: Using the following rebuttals will lower your commission checks:
"I'm happy that you invest in our kind of services already. Does your current supplier bring you 100% the results you are expecting or are there still areas where value can be added?"
"I appreciate you have a good relationship with your current provider. However, have you taken the time to benchmark their services with another provider? I will be more than happy to take a few minutes of your time to assist you!"
"STAY IN THE GAME POSITION YOURSELF TO ASK PROBING QUESTIONS TO SEARCH FOR NEEDS"
What’s Wrong With These Tactics?
The best way for me to answer: “what’s wrong” with the advice given above is to have you “analyze” the situation from a higher viewpoint.
Think back to when you had a prospect say to you: “We're Already Working With Another Supplier”… Where were you in the sales process? Was it at the close? Doubtful.
Most sales people get this objection shortly after their opening value statement – or “opener”.
To be fair, if their opener is what caused the response (caused and effect theory), the sales person was doomed before they ever pickup up the phone. I’ve found that most sales people who needlessly deal with the unbelievably unnecessary objection of “We're Already Working With Another Supplier” do so because they are still using a flawed sales process that was taught to most of us when we first decided to get into sales.
The old “contact, probe, present, handle objections and close” process with the focus on seeking the decision maker and to then pitch and close them with little regard of what’s best for the prospect is holding sales people back from achieving what we all want most: MAKING QUOTA.
These old flawed selling techniques have been passed down to ALL of us at some point or other in our sales career. But it’s nowhere as effective as we need it to be and when you add a cautious economy in the mix, you have a recipe for failure.
If I may, and I know this weeks post is a little longer than usual, allow me to share with you the response I posted to the LinkedIn sales group and see if this helps you avoid using the wrong sales process / strategy:
“Almost every time I've seen a sales person have to "deal with this objection" (and I'm not talking about having to deal with it once a year or so, I'm talking about having to deal with it several times a week, if not daily) they are following the wrong path from the beginning.
What causes a prospect to say; "we're all ready working with another supplier"?
1) The sales person doesn’t know who they are calling for: Sales rep does zero to little pre-call research (which really only takes 60 seconds or so) They simple call and ask "who's in charge of _____?" and the Gatekeeper says "we're all ready working with another supplier for that" - which, btw, is above her pay grade to make that decision if what you have to offer would be better for his/her company - but now the sales person is in "reactive" mode and uses a rebuttal... You are now arm wrestling with someone you shouldn't be wrestling with for many reasons.
2) Even if they get the prospect on the phone, if you get the "we're all ready working with another supplier" it’s because your opener was more of a mini sales pitch than it was anything else. Which means you're going in with the wrong strategy. You're going in telling them what you do and they don't care what you do, they only care about how to get better results for themselves.
What Changes Should I Make?
Too many to list here however, try having the strategy of Objective Number 1: QUALIFY.
Even if you know who the decision making person is, you can only be sure they are QUALIFIED to have / use your product / service after you've asked them some intelligent questions.
Too many sales people TELL.
Try following a formula that ASKS strategic questions so that the prospect will come to the conclusion on their own that they have a problem they didn't realize before and now they will be more willing to hear a solution.
So to do this, couple things need to happen:
1) You need to know with whom you should be speaking to BEFORE picking up the phone. No more calling and asking; "Who's in charge of _____?"
2) Have an opening value statement that PIQUES INTEREST and LOWERS RESISTANCE.
Example: "Hi (Prospects Name) this is (Your Name) with (Your Company) and the reason for my call is we help CFO's in the private health sector avoid making over payments on property taxes and insurance premiums and if I caught you at a good time, I'd like to ask you a few quick questions to see if what we have to offer, may be of some help to you, would that be OK?"
Now, if your target audience is CFO's you know that last thing they want to do is make overpayments on ANYTHING, let alone insurance premiums and property taxes. They will be more than willing to answer a few quick questions to make sure they aren't overpaying.
But if you went in with the opener of "I'm calling to discuss your fixed asset needs" then you would get the "we all ready have someone who manages that". See the difference?
Ironically, as I type this, I received a sales call and the "sales person" off the bat asked;
"who's in charge of putting your sales course materials together?"....
Now, I'm the owner, and I even have a video on my home page with me saying I'm the owner and I answered the phone saying; "Thank you for calling SalesBuzz.com, this is Michael Pedone, How Can I Help You?"
And he still asked "Who's in charge of _____" which my answer was? You guessed it! "we already have that covered". Click.
Learn a better sales process and start getting better results. Or stay with what you’re doing and hope for the best.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
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