Who Cares About the Competition?
“So, who am I competing with?”“Who else are you talking to about this?”
“How many bidders are on this?”
Besides sending the wrong message – that you are worried about who you might be competing with – if you are asking these questions, you really aren’t doing anything to overcome the biggest barriers to a sale.
Think about some of your lost deals.
- Have you lost because your price was too high?
- Have you lost because your price was too low?
- Have you lost even when you knew where the competition was and matched the pricing?
- Have you lost to an incumbent – even when they said they were unhappy with them?
- Have you lost because they decided the problem was not big enough to solve?
- Have you lost because they thought that they could do it themselves – even when they failed in the past?
Does it surprise you that every single one of these scenarios revolves around the same problem? The prospect was unwilling or uneasy about the change, and they found a way to keep the status quo.
Research shows that human beings stick to the status quo at least 75% of the time. That means that the way that they have done things before, who they have used in the past, or the way that they have made decisions in the past – prospects are going to repeat that behavior 75% of the time. Examine your own client retention rate. I would make a solid bet that if you are marginally good at what you do – even if not all of your customers are thrilled with you – you have at least a 75% retention rate.
Your goal in selling needs to be about exposing the reasons to change. The prospect must see and understand why the status quo will not get them where they want to be. The prospect must have urgency to make the change. They must feel like making a change is the only option for them.
If they don’t see the need to change, what do you think your chances are of getting the business?