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The “We’re Already Working With Another Supplier” Objection

How Do You Handle the “We’re Already Working with Another Supplier” Objection”?

First, let’s share some of the typical sales responses and advice 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!”

What’s Wrong with These Sales 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.

Most salespeople get this objection shortly after their opening value statement – or “opener.”

If their opener is what caused the response, the salesperson was doomed before they ever picked up the phone. I’ve found that most salespeople who continue to receive the “We’re Already Working with Another Supplier” objection, are using a flawed sales process taught to most of us when we first decided to get into sales.

The “contact, probe, present, handle objections and close” process is holding salespeople back from achieving what we all want most: Generate new business and hit quota.

These old flawed selling techniques are nowhere as effective as we need it to be and when you add a cautious economy to the mix, you have a recipe for failure (Editor’s note: I posted this back in 2011, but the principles are still valid today)

Almost every time I’ve seen a salesperson 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 already working with another supplier”?

The salesperson doesn’t know who they are calling.

The sales rep does zero to little pre-call research (which only takes 60 seconds or so)

They simply call and ask, “who’s in charge of _____?”.

That type of intro encourages the Gatekeeper to say, “we’re already working with another supplier for that” – and now the salesperson is in “reactive” mode and tries to use a rebuttal. You are now arm wrestling with someone you shouldn’t be wrestling with for many reasons.

Even if they get the prospect on the phone, if you get the “we’re already working with another supplier,” it’s because your opener was more of a mini sales pitch than anything else.

Which means you’re going in with the wrong sales strategy. You’re going in telling the prospect what you do, and prospects 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-maker is, you can only be sure they are QUALIFIED to have/use your product/service after you’ve asked them some sales engagement questions.

Too many salespeople, TELL.

Try following a formula that ASKS strategic sales questions so that the prospect will conclude 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, a couple of 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).

The reason for my call is we help CFO’s in the private health sector avoid making overpayments on property taxes and insurance premiums. 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 the 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 already have someone who manages that”.

See the difference?

Ironically, as I type this, I received a sales call, and the salesperson 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, 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.

Go against the grain and be open to learning new sales strategies if you want better results. Those old techniques barely worked in the past. They work even less now.

A better sales process executed correctly will start delivering better results.

– 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.

PHONE SALES SKILLS WORKSHOPS


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  • Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
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  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
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