When someone tells you they’re happy with their current vendor, how do you respond?
If you’re like many salespeople, you’re tempted to one of these two questions:
1.“What is it that you like about your vendor?”
2.“What is it that you don’t like about your vendor?”
While it may seem natural to ask those questions, they’re actually very dangerous. Why? Because there’s a good chance your prospect’s response to the first query is only going to reinforce their positive feelings for their vendor and their commitment to stay with the supplier.
When you ask a prospect what they don’t like about their vendor, you’re making an assumption that they’re unhappy with their current relationship. But, what if your prospect is perfectly content with their vendor? By supposing your client is dissatisfied with their supplier, you run the risk of offending your prospect and alienating the person based on an assumption that simply isn’t true.
Is there a better way to approach a prospect? …YES.
Ask the Right Questions to Get Actionable Answers
Instead of making the conversation about someone’s current supplier, which can be intrusive, create a more neutral conversation by asking about the qualities and attributes your prospect looks for in any vendor, not just the one they’re currently working with.
This line of inquiry doesn’t put you in a head-to-head comparison with your prospect’s current supplier, which you’re likely to lose. Instead, it gives you the chance to learn valuable feedback that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, feedback you can use to position yourself as the preferred supplier.
When you ask a prospect about the qualities and attributes they want their vendors to have, you’ll probably hear things like:
In other words, you’ll learn the specific criteria and characteristics that are most important to your client while remaining impartial.
Put simply, you’ll have started a conversation to better understand what your prospective customer values in a vendor relationship, a conversation that’s meaningful and memorable to you and, more importantly, your prospect.
Driving Value in the Sales Conversation
The bottom line is: Don’t try to sell value until you understand what your customer actually values. Asking the right questions gives you the leverage to position yourself as the supplier of choice.
Want more ideas to disrupt competitor vendor relationships? Watch this web seminar: Webinar: Three Ways to Knock Out Competitor Relationships now.