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Monday, July 03, 2006

HOW TO WIN COMPETITORS’ CUSTOMERS by FRANK FURNESS


1. Think long term
Don’t give up when you hear, “I’m satisfied.” Satisfaction may be temporary. Your prospect’s needs may change, or you may provide a good reason for switching.

2. Develop a relationship
Once you’ve mastered the relationship strategies, you will be able to determine quickly whether you can develop a rapport with a prospect, sale or no sale. By developing a friendship, you will be able to …

3. Study needs
Take your time, do research, and ask a lot of non-threatening questions so you can find out your prospect’s needs and how well they are being satisfied. The key is to find a need gap and offer a solution.

4. Sell yourself
Personal chemistry is important, but so is the knowledge that you are an enthusiastic, earnest, professional, ethical, caring expert who would be nothing but an asset to know and do business with. Come up with new ideas for your prospects. Show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale.

5. Add value
So many products and services are commodities that differentiation may be difficult. That is why you sell yourself. That is also why you have to differentiate your product with added value such as service and performance guarantees, superior services, and better delivery schedules – whatever it takes to be better.

6. Ask for a no-risk trial order
Many customers are loyal to their suppliers, but will grant you a trial order if you ask for it. Make it a no-risk proposition. Ensure your prospect’s satisfaction with some kind of guarantee, and bend over backwards to make sure the trial order makes a very positive impression.

7. Ask for a portion of their business
“Stealing” a competitor’s customer may not be an all-or-nothing deal. You may have to do it bit by bit, proving yourself slowly as you go along. Ask for a small percentage of the prospect’s business and you may find that percentage will grow.

8. Be persistent
Nothing succeeds more than persistence. All things being equal, the persistent salesperson will win the account every time. Keep in touch with prospects, think long term, be a consultant and ally, and you will plant drought-resistant seeds.

Take a look at Sales Success Strategies for SMEs and Small Business




Frank Furness CSP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. Based in London, Frank is the President of the Professional Speakers Association of Europe and the current chair of the International PEG.
His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free ‘Sales Tips & Ideas’ newsletter, email frank@frankfurness.com or telephone+ 44 (0) 870 240 6505. www.frankfurness.com

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