Habit 40: Do You Like Us or Not?

June 19, 2017 Selling Comments Off on Habit 40: Do You Like Us or Not?

To continue with the “Account Development Habits”, let’s look at Habit 40: Know if your company is the preferred vendor or not and why.

Once an opportunity has moved in the sales cycle and you’ve qualified the opportunity as a “C”, submitted for approval, it’s very important to find out if the customer/prospect likes you and/or your company or not. You do that by asking a simple question. That question is: “Are we the preferred vendor?” It’s a straightforward and honest question that deserves an answer.

I find many salespeople, particularly those who are not “Top Performers”, have a lot of difficulty asking this question. I think it’s because they are afraid they are going to offend someone or they think its information that they do not have a right to know. I submit that in either case, they are completely wrong.

A salesperson invests a significant amount of time and money in developing any opportunity to the “C” level and has the right to know whether they are the preferred vendor or not. It is a simple question that deserves a simple answer.

Let’s assume that the customer/prospect will not answer the question or simply ignores it. That communicates a very clear message. The answer 90% of the time, when this is the case, is “No.”  At this point I would confirm that the answer is in fact “No” and move on from there.

If the customer/prospect answers the question with a very clear “No”, the very next thing that the salesperson should do is ask “Why?” and “What do I have to do to become the preferred vendor?”

Simple questions deserve simple answers and if this offends any customer/ prospect, it is easy to explain that the investment of time and money and the pressures from the salesperson’s supervisor required them to ask the question. If the customer/prospect still does not understand or is offended, it is clear that relationship development with the customer/prospect is going to be difficult and that the sale in question is probably lost. The “Account Plan” should reflect this status and further investments in this customer/prospect should be minimum.

“Are you the preferred vendor?” What a great qualifying question!

Habit 40: Know if your company is the preferred vendor or not and why.

“A Habit” is not work, but just a thing that is done every day and knowing if you are the preferred vendor or not and why is critical to your success in sales and can easily become a Habit.

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