How to Sell to Major Accounts That Love Your Competitor


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People get dug in on their opinions.

Supporters of Israel vs. Supporters of Hamas.  While most Americans can’t imagine anyone supporting Hamas, there are actually 16% who do.

iPhone vs. Android.  Each phone has its advocates and 85% stay with the same brand.

Trump versus Biden. Half the country won’t vote for the other candidate.

I could go on and on but today, those were the first three examples, and most obvious three examples that were top of mind.

People get dug in and won’t even consider changing their minds. So, what happens when a salesperson targets a major account that is your competitor’s good customer, and who also happens to love that competitor?

Most people get dug in for different reasons than you think.  Let’s take Biden and Trump. They both keep saying the same things.  Biden keeps saying Bidenomics is working and we’re building back better. Trump keeps saying the election was stolen and we’re going to make America great again.  When those who don’t support the other candidate can’t stand those talking points, and then those same talking points get repeated over and over again, their BS meter sounds its alarm, and their viewpoints become fastened in concrete.

Take that thought and put it into the context of selling. You are calling on a prospect who loves your competitor.  If you say anything about them that contradicts what they believe, or is similar to what other salespeople have said about them, it flies in the face of their truth, and you become the equivalent of either Trump or Biden, depending on which one they hate.   BS and concrete.

The key, for Biden, Trump and you, is to change your messaging.  Stop saying the things that cause BS and concrete and start sharing things that have the opposite effect.   Say good things about your competitor.  Compliment your prospect on their decision making.  Admit they are your toughest competitor.  What’s the worst that could happen – they’ll continue to buy from your competitor?  And what’s the best that can happen?  They will lower their defenses.  They will talk with you.  They will answer your questions.

Moving happy, loyal customers away from their favorite salesperson or company is neither quick nor easy, but moving them will never happen if you don’t learn how to lower their defenses so they have a chance to like you before you begin the long, hard process of changing their mind.  You might not want to go through this for a small account but for the chance to land a large account?  Of course you’ll do this!

How?  Salespeople tend to take their best accounts for granted.  They don’t call as often as they should.  They don’t visit as often as they could.  You need to be there and/or on the phone with them more often than the salesperson they like so much.  Something is bound to go wrong.  Something is likely to disappoint your prospect.  That’s your opportunity to change the conversation.

Image © rokastenys/123RF.COM

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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