How do you handle the competition when the client brings them in at the end of the sales process? Our prospect had the contract, had given us verbal agreement but then decided to look at 2 other vendors. What should I do?
First things first… we need to do a lightning quick inventory of our sales process to make sure we covered what we needed to before we even got to the close/negotiation/contract phase.
- Did we uncover a problem that the prospect wants solved?
- Did we offer a solution that the prospect wants?
- ARE WE SPEAKING TO AN INFORMATION GATHERER, INFLUENCER OR A DECISION MAKER?
- Does their time frame for purchase / implementation qualify them to be a HOT PROSPECT?
- Can they afford our solution should they decide they want it?
Now out of those 5 questions above, the first one that you need to answer is #3.
If you mischaracterized your prospect as a decision maker when in fact they are an information gatherer or an influencer role, thats a major problem right there.
You may be getting this objection of looking at two other competitors at the 11 hour because the real decision maker doesn’t agree with 1, 2, 4 or 5 above. And if thats the case, you need to respond differently than you would if you were actually speaking to the decision maker. Make sense? Can you see how the same objection but two completely different root causes of the problem will require a different response from you? And in order to choose the right response, you will need to identify which scenario you are dealing with.
Well How Do I Uncover Which Scenario I’m In?
I’m sure there are a number of ways you can respond but I like the straight forward approach best. The fact of the matter is this… At this point in the sales process its either:
- Someone doesn’t 100% believe your solution is the best or
- Someone thinks there’s a chance they can get the same or similar solution for less.
You need to identify which one is keeping you from closing your deal.
The following will work no matter who you are talking to (and will actually expose the person if they are an INFORMATION GATHERER)
“Mr/Mrs. Prospect, I understand you want to make the best decision possible and if I were in your shoes, I’d want the same thing. I can think of only two reasons however that would cause you some concern before moving forward with us… Someone isn’t 100% sure what we have to offer is the right solution… 0r… someone feels they may be able to get a similar or even better solution elsewhere for less. May I ask which one we are dealing with?”
Now if the prospect says:
“Well, I do think your price was a little high” (or something to that effect) they may have very well exposed / confirmed that they are the decision maker. And now you have a solid root cause / reason (price seemed high to the prospect) for wanting to bring in and look at two other competitors late in the game that you can work with, handle and overcome.
If the prospect responded with “well my boss…” and then gave you an objection (could be price, not sure this is the right fit, get better solution for less etc) you have exposed that you are not speaking with the real decision maker (you missed a MAJOR step – or two or three – early on in the sales process and it has come back to bite you) and now must handle your prospect in order to get a conference call with the decision maker in order to uncover their concerns / desires etc before handling the objection.
Hope this helps.
Michael Pedone –
Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Get pricing here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!
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