Losing Deals to Cheaper Competitors?
3-Steps to Win RFP’s When Competing with a Low-Cost Provider
“How do you win RFP’s while competing Vs. a low-cost provider?”
Step 1) Uncover what problems they are wanting to solve (and why they want them solved) and make sure what you offer is a good fit.
Your job as a salesperson isn’t to “close” every lead you come across. Your job is to close as many qualified prospects as fast as possible – and the first rule of a prospect being qualified is “do they have a problem that your solution can solve?”.
So make sure you (and they) understand what the problem is before putting together and presenting your solution.
Step 2) Identify the position of the person you are speaking with as it relates to their role in the decision-making process.
Do they actually have a real vote, just an opinion or are they simply the info gatherer?
How you proceed will depend on the person’s role. You don’t want to offer the price to someone that does not have authority or influence on the decision. C-level execs make decisions on results. Non-decision makers make decisions on price.
Step 2 1/2) If you are not speaking or dealing with the decision-maker or strong influencer, you’ll need to give just enough info and reason to get the prospect excited about what you have to offer but hold back enough to where you influence them to get a conversation with all the other parties that need to be involved.
That last bit of advice is usually met with resistance from some salespeople. But I learned a long time ago that negotiating with prospects who are on the bottom of the totem pole does not generate the results I want to have through selling.
I’d rather lose that “one deal” but win 10 others by knowing when to hold my ground or walk away.
Step 3) Once you have the right parties involved in the conversation – identify what criteria are going to be used in the decision-making process.
I think most salespeople would be surprised that the majority of decision-makers do NOT go with the lowest price. Other factors play a huge role. To find out what those other factors are, simply ask some version of this type of sales question:
“Other than price, what other factors are you considering when it comes to making the right decision for your needs?”
“Other than price, what are the top three things most important to you when selecting the right solution for your company?”
Once they answer, you can follow up with:
“What happens if we have an advantage in those areas over our competition but aren’t the least expensive?”
Following a simple sales process like this will help you weed out the qualified from the non-qualified while giving you an advantage on knowing which hot buttons to press during the presentation phase that can boost their interest in your solution even if you aren’t the least expensive.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
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Presenters: Michael Pedone