We’re Happy With The Existing Vendor


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It’s the sales managers weekly one-on-one coaching session with the salesperson. They are examining the salesperson’s once full sales pipeline—that is now empty. The salesperson’s explanation:  “Everyone is happy with their existing vendor.”    

News alert!  Of course, your prospect is happy with their existing supplier. He or she is a human being and human beings cling to comfort and avoid change.  (How many of you are putting up with mediocrity with one of your personal or professional vendors?) And of course, the prospect is happy with the existing vendor—because the salesperson didn’t give him a compelling reason to change or invest more dollars.   

This objection is a fairly predictable one. So why are salespeople still getting stumped by it?   

#1.  Lack of pre-call planning.   There is a direct correlation between pre-call planning and the emotional intelligence skill of delayed gratification. Delayed gratification is the ability to put in the work to earn the reward of a well-run sales meeting.  i.e.,Research, practice.    

Instant gratification salespeople conduct appointments, without even knowing who the incumbent is and what they are offering!  As a result, the salesperson can’t create appropriate questions or value propositions to point out gaps in the competitors offering. 

Instant gratification salespeople hope the prospect will do their job and just figure out reasons to switch vendors.     

#2.  No customized value propositions.  A well designed value proposition points out gaps in a competitors offering—without ever mentioning the competition. 

For example, we worked with a client to help them unseat a well-liked, local firm. Because of their research, my client knew the incumbent wasn’t offering service or support beyond their state.   

We designed a value proposition to point out this gap—without mentioning the competition.  “Mr. Prospect, a lot of our clients come to us because they are really satisfied with their existing partner, however, are concerned about the business they are losing because they can’t support national or international clients.”   

Stop losing to existing vendor excuse.  Apply the EI skill of delayed gratification.  Put in the work to earn the reward of a new client.  Take time to research the competition and expose the gaps in their offerings through great value propositions and questions. 

Good Selling!   

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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