Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How To Steal Business When Your Competitor Goes Through Changes

Has your personal or business bank changed names and ownership within the past couple of years? How about your mortgage company? I'm sure many of you have stories of frustration due to these changes - more paperwork, different reps, wasted time. These situations test customer loyalty, and according to telesales expert Art Sobczak, smart sales reps will take advantage of it.

Prospects can be particularly vulnerable after their existing vendor is acquired, merged, or undergoes some other type of change. Capitalizing on their vulnerability requires you to track who a prospect buys from. You must be on top of changes and able to sort your database accordingly. Then you place an effective call.

Here are some pointers from Sobczak to help you capitalize on your competitor's changes.

1. Set up a Google News Alert with the names of your top competitors. When anything happens with them and it appears online, you will be notified based on the keywords you enter.

2. Set up a Current Vendor field or group in your contact management program. On every future call, find out who your prospects are buying from, if it is not you. Then it's a breeze to do a quick sort of all the prospects who have the competitor's name in the field, and plan strategically-timed contacts when appropriate.

3. Call with value. When calling these prospects, naturally you don't phone with an attitude of, "So I see your vendor was just acquired. I bet things are a mess there!" Instead, treat the call just like you would a normal follow-up. But, be prepared to ask questions designed to get them to tell you the problems and pains they might be experiencing as a result of the change.

For example:

"Mike, you're still with AB Vendor, right? I see. With the recent acquisition, some of my other customers have noticed some changes in the promptness of getting orders delivered. If that is an issue for you, we have some options that might be worth taking a look at. What has been your experience?"

Again, be sure your opening here is not viewed as the "Just checking in with you" type of call.

"Every prospect you have not sold is affected by change at some point. Be the person who can turn that into a win-win for you both," says Sobczak.

Art Sobczak helps sales pros use the phone to prospect, service and sell more effectively, while eliminating morale-killing rejection. To get FREE weekly emailed TelE-Sales Tips visit: www.BusinessByPhone.com

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