Six Ways To Win At Competitive Selling
Sales is a highly competitive field. Every day, you face competition from other sales professionals, other companies and other solutions altogether. You can either let this competition intimidate you, or you can strive to get better at competitive selling.
According to Patrick O’Neill, the head of sales for Intercom.com, competitive selling means improving your team’s ability to win more business by building better customer relationships. It doesn’t mean attacking or ignoring competing businesses but becoming more relevant to your target market.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share O’Neill’s top tips to close more deals for your company through competitive selling.
1. Understand the market. Consultative sales professionals have a keen understanding of who is in the market and what they do. They also know their strengths and what they bring that others do not. To close more deals, you have to know the landscape.
2. Consider the details. If you know who your prospect is evaluating and you know the competitive landscape, you can get more insight into how the customer is thinking about solving their problems, says O’Neill. When you take time to look deeper, you can often get context that you would not otherwise get.
3. Don’t rely on discounting. Competitive selling should never involve discounting to win business. If you slash your prices so your offerings are less expensive than a competitor’s, you plant the idea that your product or service is not as valuable as theirs, says O’Neill. This is a sure way for your clients to churn. As soon as a better deal comes along, they’ll go with that option. Instead, hold your ground and don’t rely on price alone to win deals, he advises.
4. Speak enthusiastically about your company. If you want to improve at competitive selling, embrace what your company stands for. Talk about the brand and values. Are you involved in a particular initiative or project? Speak passionately about that. O’Neill points out that clients do not always make business decisions based on what would have the best business impact. Their decisions are often influenced by other factors, such as the company’s long-term direction or its values.
5. Showcase case studies. Another way to win at competitive selling is to spotlight previous successes. Prospective clients love to see how you have helped other businesses. This makes it easier for them to envision how you could help them, too. Have any of your clients switched from a competitor to you? O’Neill says these customer stories are particularly powerful, especially if you have strong statistics to accompany the story.
6. Be authentic. Remember that sales is a personable job, says O’Neill. Don’t underestimate your role in winning a deal. When you are friendly, informed and honest, you make it easy for people to want to work with you.
To win at competitive selling, you don’t need to undermine your competitors or pretend they don’t exist. Instead, you can take several specific actions to set yourself up for success. Always know the market and look for context clues. It also helps to be genuine, which can set you apart as a trusted resource. Avoid cutting your prices to close deals, and when you have a solid success story, share it.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Patrick O’Neill is the head of sales for Intercom.com.