Overcoming Objections – Become Your Prospect’s Number Two Choice

Last week, FEI sales leader Zoot taught young salesman Ganymede how to overcome customer and prospect complaints that “Your price is too high!” This week, the duo discusses how to kick another objection to the curb: loyalty to an existing provider. Remember, fire = print.

One sun-drenched Saturday, Ganymede ran into Zoot while jogging in Olympus Park. Zoot was walking his poodle. Like its owner, the dog had immaculately groomed hair and excellent posture.

Ganymede rubbed the dog’s head. “Beautiful pooch! What’s his name?”

“Noot,” Zoot said with pride.

“You named your dog Noot?” Ganymede asked with a tone of disbelief, mentally noting that it made sense that vain Zoot would give his dog almost the same name as himself.

“Sure did,” Zoot said. “Having a pleasant Saturday?”

“Actually, I have a lot on my mind,” Ganymede admitted. “Lately, I’ve encountered several prospects who won’t budge because of unwavering loyalty to their existing fire service providers. They keep slamming the door in my face—sometimes literally!”

“I was going to ask about that bruise,” Zoot chuckled. “Don’t view prospect loyalty to existing vendors as a problem. It is actually an opportunity to differentiate your company and eventually win the business. How? By becoming the number two choice!”

“Why waste my time and effort going after a prospect that clearly prefers someone else?” Ganymede asked naively.

“What if Hercules Jones—the understudy who ended up playing the role of Achilles in Athens Theater’s production of The Iliad—had thought that?” Zoot asked rhetorically. “You never know when number one will let your prospect down and you’ll get a chance. Any day, the current number one could raise its prices, go out of business, blow a critical deadline, or commit some other grievous mistake. And you’ll be waiting.”

“So how do I establish FEI as the number two choice?” Ganymede asked.
“Let me answer this question by way of analogy,” Zoot replied. “Take Noot here. I’ve owned him for four years, and he’s loyal to me. Say you wanted to take Noot for your own.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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