Here's the April 2010 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and we would like to explore how you can get a better competitive edge in this age of hyper-competition.
Recently, I was participating in a workshop on "Creating Winning Bids" conducted by Shipley Associates, and while during a group discussion, we stumbled upon this question that we may want our customers to ask, "How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts and Make Them Buy from You Instead?".
While the objective in sales is to get customers to buy, sometimes a little reverse psychology maybe very insightful at times, especially when they are already accustomed to buying from your competitors.
Hence, this month's topics:
This issue's main article is on "How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts and Make Them Buy from You Instead?", and the focus is on determining the factors on what will make those potential customers interested in buying from you.
In the meantime, we are organising a 2-Day workshop on "Sun Tzu and the Art of Sales Leadership" on 20-21 April (in Chinese) at the Crowne Plaza Shanghai. Seats are limited. Let me know if you'd like to have a reservation. In-house training on other sales topics such as Sun Tzu and the Art of Sales Negotiation in China, Psyche-Selling, Key Accounts Selling, etc. can be arranged upon request. Pls. e-mail email@example.com for the respective training outlines.
How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts and Make Them Buy from You Instead
by c.j. Ng
Let's face it. If you are in sales, like I am, we would all be very interested to increase our market share. Even when the market is growing, we sure would like to have a piece of our competitor's business. However, when we were to approach our competitor, these are the more common responses:
But even if you were to offer a very attractive price, your competitor's key accounts may not be willing to pay attention to you just yet.
"Why You Must Buy from Us, Apart from the Price"
In the attempt to make customers buy, many sales people often give customers a whole list of selling points so that customers see the seller's Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) and other product advantages. For the uninitiated, here are some examples:
The good news is that customers do NOT just buy from price only. In our discussions with a number of buyers (or procurement managers), we do find that they usually DON'T buy from the cheapest nor the most expensive quotations, not even in public tenders. What they do really want is to get the best "value for money" or have better "reasons to buy".
As we probe deeper, here are some of the factors that make up customers' perception or definition of "value" or "reasons to buy" apart from price, which you can call the 4 "R"s:
"What IF I Don't Buy from You?"
The reason that your prospective customer is not buying from you yet, is that they haven't seen the negative consequences of NOT buying from you yet. In their minds, they are subconsciously asking "What IF I don't buy from you?" And if your sales team doesn't have a good response to that question, you won't get the deal.
Supposed your company is a leading provider of an industrial equipment that is "mission critical" to a certain part of your customer's operating process. The situation that you are facing can be prioritised as follow:
Most sales people following on this customer would have lost the sale, since the competitor has a strong relationship with the procurement manager, sells at a lower price and is perceived to be reliable. What you can do is to re-prioritise your approach to:
So to answer the customer's question of "What if I don't buy from you", you can confidently state that they will incur more losses and subject themselves to more danger IF they stick to their current vendor. It may be in their best interest to start working with you and your team.
"What if I Want All You can Offer, and Still Demand a Lower Price as well?"
At this point, some sales people will say that there will be customers who will demand that we deliver the results through better Resourcefulness, Responsiveness, Reliability and Relationship, and yet still want us to sell at the same price as those who don't.
Well, if that is your only customer, or one of your few key customers, then perhaps they know that they are paying your bills. Hence, they will squeeze you real hard if they know you need them much more than they need you.
However, if you have a good prospecting process that allows you to generate enough leads, you can stand firm and insist on your prices. Chances are that if a customer is haggling with you over price, that usually means that they are interested in buying from you. If you stood firm and refuse to give in, you have a 50/50 chance of still winning the deal.
If you have a number of high quality leads in your sales pipeline, that will be a risk that may be worthwhile to take. The ones that are willing to give you a try will be more than worth your effort.
Need help in luring your customers away from your competitor and buy from you instead? Simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
Power Breakfast Hour: 21 May 2010
How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts and Make Them Buy from You Instead
Join International Sales Leadership and Performance Coach c.j. Ng in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where he will be sharing with you how you can lure away your competitors' key accounts and make them buy from you instead:
VENUE: To be Confirmed
DATE: Friday, 21 May 2010
TIME: 08:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
PRICE: RMB 200 ONLY!
To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations to email@example.com To allow more participation from more companies, ONLY 2 registrants per company are invited.
Need a Keynote Speaker for your Regional Sales Conference?
Whether you are holding a conference for your regional staff, resellers or even customers, we have the right speaker who can help you deliver the spirit of your conference, and effect positive changes to meet your goals.
The topics our speakers can speak on include:
Practical Tips for Sales Teams:
How to Generate More Leads that Lead to Sales
By c.j. Ng
If you are in sales, chances are you will need to generate leads and find some new customers. Even if your job is to solely focus on existing key accounts, it will still be a good idea if you have a couple of new customers once in a while to make up for the attrition of old ones.
However, most sales organisations rely on 1 or 2 methods to generate leads, when they probably can get better results if they were to synergise a few methods to generate a lot more QUALIFIED leads. Here's how you can do so:
So how do we synergise all the above?
Depending on your budget and how much control you have over your sales and marketing initiatives, there are different lead generation combinations for different sales teams.
If your main lead generation methodology is to make cold calls, just like what the financial planning and executive recruitment industries are doing, what you can do is to compliment this with a little direct mailing and events organising.
My personal financial planner in Singapore sends out periodical newsletters by e-mail, informing her current and future customers of the latest insights on what could affect your financial wealth. In case you are wondering if she has lots of time to do the writing, she actually didn't do the writing at all. All she did was to copy-and-paste or attach the financial articles written by the experts, and send them out. And people responded to her mailings!
In addition, because she sends out high-quality articles, she's been perceived as an "expert" too. Even though she didn't write them, she knows where to find them. That somehow gave her prospective customers more confidence in her, and are more willing to meet up with her. On top of that, she gets lots of referrals since her prospective customers know they can benefit from receiving her e-mails.
It is also well-known that executive recruiters need to search for candidates via cold-calling. Now, there are many executive recruitment firms that have diversified into executive coaching, career development training and other workshops targeted at their targeted candidates.
If you have already spent a bomb to participate in a tradeshow or convention, you may want to advertise further to tell more prospects that they can find you at which Booth at the event. For the really "hot" prospects, you can even host a dinner after hours and firm up the relationship.
In a nutshell, while we can see the pros and cons of different approaches to generate leads, the key thing is NOT to rely on just one of them. If these approaches were to work in tandem, you can expect your number of qualified leads grow exponentially. And if you have the right skills and attitude, expect your sales to increase drastically as well.
If you would like to re-strategise your lead generation approaches, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.
Sales... ...the lifeblood of a company, a matter of "life and death", survival or extinction. Indeed, something that needs to be studied, applied and re-modified consistently.
Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.
Psyche-Selling TM would like to create an environment where customers can trust sales people to give them what they want, and NOT be pushed with all kinds of products and services. In return, customers will become loyal fans of these ethical and professional sales people, and repay them many fold for the long-term.
Psyche-Selling TM will not rest, until the above is achieved. Not just in China. Not just in Asia. But everywhere where buying and selling takes place.
Psyche-Selling TM is a wholly-owned brand of Directions Management Consulting Pte Ltd that specialises in the field of improving sales performance by enhancing the performance of the entire sales team. Apart from the regular "selling skills training", Psyche-Selling TM conducts pre- and post-training analysis, interviews, monitoring and reviews, working closely with managers and even senior management, to deliver real improvements in sales leadership and performance.
Hence, Psyche-Selling TM would like to be known as the preferred choice of outstanding and remarkable clients, and pride ourselves as such. We will also be continuing to assist our clients achieve greater heights in 2009 and beyond.