Friday, May 12, 2006

More great tips on converting customers from competitors

Converting customers from competitors is a fact of life for salespeople. Customers become dissatisfied and switch. Your market share will increase if they come to you. Here's how you entice prospects to switch.

1. Think long term. Don't give up when you hear, "I'm satisfied." Satisfaction may be temporary. Your prospect's needs may change, or you may provide a good reason for switching.

2. Develop a relationship. Establish rapport with a prospect, sale or no sale. By developing a friendship, you will be able to revisit the issue at a later time.

3. Study needs. Take your time, do research, and ask a lot of nonthreatening questions so you can find out your prospect's needs and how well they are being satisfied. The key is to find a need gap and offer a solution.

4. Sell yourself. Personal chemistry is important, but so is the knowledge that you are an enthusiastic, earnest, professional, ethical, caring expert who would be nothing but an asset to know and do business with. Come up with new ideas for your prospects. Show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale.

5. Add value. So many products and services are commodities that differentiation may be difficult. That is why you sell yourself. That is also why you have to differentiate your product with added value such as service and performance guarantees, superior services, better delivery schedules -- whatever it takes to be better.

6. Ask for a no-risk trial order. Many customers are loyal to their suppliers, but will grant you a trial order if you ask for it. Make it a no-risk proposition. Ensure your prospect's satisfaction with some kind of guarantee, and bend over backward to make sure the trial order makes a very positive impression.

7. Ask for a portion of their business. Converting a competitor's customer may not be an all-or-nothing deal. You may have to do it bit by bit, proving yourself slowly as you go along. Ask for a small percentage of the prospect's business and you may find that percentage will grow.

8. Be persistent. Nothing succeeds more than persistence. All things being equal, the persistent salesperson will win the account every time. Keep in touch with prospects, think long term, be a consultant and ally, and you will plant drought-resistant seeds.

Source: Dartnell's e-Tips for Sales Professionals (May, 2006)

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Nadim said...

Very useful information. I will definitely come back to read more.

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Web2earn said...

Thanks, these are some nice tips on advertising. I tried to put together a similar list, probably a little more detailed, at Advertising index

Let me know if you found anything of interest in it - thanks!