All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.
All things NOT being equal, most people still want to do business with their friends. Politicians call this the "Good Old Boy Network." But anyone who has ever been a professional salesperson knows that the "Good Old Boy Network" exists not just in politics, but in the business world, as well.
The fact is—pure and simple—the relationship between the prospect you wish were your customer and the salesperson that prospect is currently buying from is stronger than your relationship with that prospect.
If you believe this statement and if you wish to become more effective at taking prospects away from their existing suppliers, you must develop an effective process to make sure your prospects love, like and respect you more than they love, like and respect your competitors.
Problem: Most salespeople are too impatient. They quote a prospect while he is still little more than an acquaintance. Remember one of my favorite sayings: "Quoting is not selling." Quoting is a task; anyone can quote. But a major part of the selling process is figuring out ways to make your prospect love, like and respect you enough to think seriously about doing business with you and your company.
There are a lot of characteristics necessary to be a really high-volume salesperson. One of them I believe that you need is to be -- not outwardly, but inwardly -- just a little bit cocky. You must believe down deep inside that you can sell anybody, all you need is enough time to "earn" his or her business.
Football teams use the word "swagger" to describe this internal feeling of confidence. It's a difficult to explain the gut feeling you have that when the there's no time left on the game clock, you and your team take home the trophy.
This is where drive and determination come in. If you want something badly enough, odds are you are going to achieve it; that is, if your goals are at all realistic. Really great salespeople are "hungry." They are innovative at coming with ways to get close to people.
My personal favorite technique for pulling this off is to help my prospects solve their most pressing business problems or to help them put more money on the bottom line BEFORE I ever think about asking for an order.
You may use other techniques, but regardless of the methods you have chosen to use, you still have to convince your prospects that they are better off buying from you than they are when they buy from one of your competitors.
One of the reasons you hear so much about enthusiasm in sales seminars is because enthusiastic salespeople are such a rare commodity. Builders will find themselves responding favorably to salespeople who seem to be highly enthusiastic about not just what they are selling, but their industry and their profession, as well.
Three things have to happen to make a sale to top prospects who are happy with an existing supplier:
1. You have to believe in our heart that you work for the greatest company in town.
2. You have to believe in your heart that your company provides the greatest service in town.
3. You have to believe in your heart that you can make a positive difference in the profitability of your prospect's business.
Try this: List 10 benefits your prospects will receive when they do business with you and your company that they don't receive when doing business with the competition.
If you can't come up with 10 benefits your prospects will receive when they begin buying from you and your company, you need to sit down with your owner or general manager and begin working on a plan of action.