Make your prospect smarter than your competitor – Ludo Claes

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(This article of Ludo Claes was published in USA.)

If we want to be successful in sales the need for efficient and strategic sales techniques are a must. This so the salesman or saleswoman can be flexible and bendable in every sales talk situation. The time were a standard sales talk is suitable for each selling situation has changed so the goal is to change as well in the art of selling. The article below can give you a new inside on how sales can be improved by a successful sales strategy.

You probably know the story. You just finished your sales talk with a prospect. He/she is very interested in the product, but wants to talk to the competitor before he/she makes a decision. You see the prospect leaving the room without a sale and walks of to the competitor. You say to yourself: "I am never going to see him or her  again". Is this prospect lost or is there a sales strategy which allow you to win the order although he/she left to speak to your competitors?

n general it is always a disadvantage being in the pole position when talking to potential buyers. If a prospect talks to you first before the competitors, it places you in a powerless situation. Why?
 - The prospect knows your prices and conditions which he can directly compare with the conditions of the competitor.
 - The prospect makes his decision at the competitor. Good or bad, the competitor can respond to it and react accordingly in order to win the sale.
 - You are no longer in contact with the prospect so you do not have the possibility to influence the decision.

So if you are first in line to talk to the prospect you are indeed powerless seeing you do not have the possibility to influence the buying intentions of the prospect. It is therefore likely that you lose the sale. Yet there is a way to turn your powerless pole position into a big powerful advantage and win the order. In other words, there is a way to see your prospect again. You can actually influence the decision of the prospect while he is at the competitor. How? By changing the intension of your sales talk.

If a prospects visits or calls you, you are putting your best sales talk on the table to win the order. You have the intention to send out product advantages, best price conditions and so on to the prospect to make that sale come trough. yet as soon as the talk is over, and the prospect goes of to the competitor it is all gone. Most of your information and effords are gone. Ask yourself: "What is the prospect actually doing at the competitor?" Indeed, he/she is comparing the products and prices. So what can you do to influence the decision? The answer: adjust your sales talk so it turns him into an expert.

An example.
Lets say that you are selling expensive sound surround systems for televisions. A prospects walks in and you start your sales talk. Yet instead of concentrating on the product advantages, you focus a little bit more on the technical details. Not to much and not to detailed but enough to turn the prospect into an expert on sound surround systems. He walks out and goes to the competitor where he talks to the salesmen. What do you think will happen? Will the prospect still be talking about advantages or prices? No, he will be talking about technical details. He will be asking the salesmen some nasty questions about the technology. And what happens if the salesmen can not give a satisfying answer? He will lose his trust in the competitor and come back to you. 

The sales strategy: Customers do not just buy because of better prices or advantages. The higher the price of the product gets, the more important the expertise gets of the salesmen seeing the investment is being connected to a certain trust value. So make your customer smarter than your competitor and it will decrease the trust value of the competitor. You will win the order.

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