Take it away or Fade away

In this economic climate, organic opportunities are becoming harder to come by! I was speaking with a client this morning who told me that “no decision” wasn’t a factor in his sales process a year ago – it’s the only thing he loses to today. To accentuate that point, a recent survey in the Nashville Business Journal stated that 90% of companies were cutting costs. http://nashville.bizjournals.com/nashville/stories/2009/01/26/daily12.html?ana=e_du_pub


What does that mean to sales leaders?  We have to go where the money is still budgeted and that is usually with a product that is already in place. In other words – we have to take it away from an incumbent competitor or we might just fade away by not reacting properly to market conditions.


We speak often of segmenting our prospects – I recommend that we segment between prospects that are using our competitors and one’s where we are introducing the service. When unseating an incumbent, we need to look for two things – who made the decision and if any value whatsoever has been documented.


Many times, our competitors do a poor job of verifying their “ROI.” We want to raise doubt with the prospects that are using our competitor by asking for the ROI documentation. If the Decision Makers can’t produce this documentation, they will become uneasy and even dubious about their selection. As a disclaimer – we must tread carefully around this subject because there is political risk in exposing this lack of follow up.  


Taking away an incumbent competitor is hard because the pain of change is often political. However – if you can break that bond the decision-maker has with their selection by raising questions around the ROI that was promised – you might not fade away in this economic climate.


One Response

  1. Scott, great blog. Think about this: Ask yourself if you have ever lost a client to the competitor? If you have, then you know the sting of that feeling and you also know that it is “possible” to steal from a competitor. It’s just this time, you were on the losing end.

    So analyze those tough losses to see what YOUR competitor did to you. And then go out and do it to them.

    But here’s another thought. Was it something your competitor did or was it something you did NOT do. As in, you did NOT have a true account plan to take care of that customer. YOU took the customer for granted. YOU were not seeing that customer enough. YOU were not working with the customer to build plans to help them grow their business and thereby buy more from you.

    If you can make these mistakes, then your competitor certainly can. So go hunting in your competitor sites where they have made the same bad mistakes you have made…..and then pay them back!

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