One of the questions your salespeople should be asking early in the sales process is “Who are you talking to for solutions besides our company?”. This question is a no brainer. Of course we would want to know if they are talking to our competition before we move to the proposal phase because it may affect how we go to that step. It may even mean that we stop the process and regroup or close the file.
A question that salespeople regularly miss though is “Ok, I understand which of my competitors you are talking to, but are there any ways you are looking at solving these issues internally without bringing someone from the outside in? My competition may actually be the guy down the hall whose job I am threatening if they bring me in.
This recently came up with one of our clients who sells IT services. Our client was talking to a prospect who clearly needed their IT services, but because the internal IT Director at the prospect viewed our client as a threat, the IT Director did everything he could to keep them out.
Do your salespeople know how to sell around the “internal competition”? Are they strong enough?
- Jody Williamson