In this episode, we dive into the foundations of competitive selling, and provide practical tips for leaders looking to outrun tough competitors.
Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.
Discussion on running and races, because…
…the topic is competition in sales. Bridget says there is always competition, and she offers two approaches. In either case, focus on the customer’s problem, and how you differentiate yourself to solve it.
Price is not the competition. Solving the problem, with the greatest value to the prospect, wins the deal. Bridget tells how she was sold a pair of running shoes by a trusted vendor who solved her problem with value, and did it frictionlessly.
No one wants blisters — on their heels, or in the buying process! Bridget went with the reputation of Marathon Sports, not the price, and found a salesperson who worked very easily with her.
Andy also bought running shoes! His preferred vendor, Road Runner Sports, has excellent service and makes sure of the right fit and shoe. Unless you just have to buy the cheapest shoes, you will not walk out of there without new shoes.
Andy likes being a member of the Road Runner Sports V.I.P. Club! He admits, he could wear shoes a little bit longer, but he loves having new shoes.
Reps assume there will be a buying decision. Qualify the prospect’s problem, and make sure they understand the value proposition, to make sure it is so. The first discovery call sets the tone for the entire engagement.
The buying decision has two parts: whether the prospect will make a change at this time, and, if yes, who the vendor to facilitate the change will be. Be there with the value proposition that fits the prospect’s desired change.
‘Selling past’ the initial buying decision, means that if the customer does decide to go ahead, they probably do it based on the competition’s value proposition, not on yours! If they buy from you, will they be happy? Bridget elaborates.
The buyer may be confused between propositions they heard, so after each sale, call the customer to review the deal, from their requirements, to your proposal, to what they bought, and how and when you will deliver it. Communicate.
If you don’t clarify with the buyer what they bought, at renewal time they may believe you surprised them, and they will look for an alternative vendor they can trust better. Andy calls the refresher call, the most important sales call you make.
The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.