Prospect Objection: I’m happy with my current provider

Today we’re back on the phone calling prospects to get appointments and we hear this common objection:  “Sorry, but I’m very happy with the company that does this for me now.”  I’ve heard this one before and so have you, so let’s explore how to respond to it effectively.

In my newsletter on Tuesday I helped you deal with “Send me something in the mail,” and promised I would review “I’m happy with my current provider” in today’s blog post.  (If you didn’t receive or read the newsletter you’ll find it here.)

Gregory at Medtronic 10-2010 CroppedRemember that the two secrets to dealing with telephone objections are 1) avoid being defensive or arguing with the prospect, and 2) doing everything you can to engage the prospect in a conversation.  To get the prospect to talk with you, you will have to ask some helpful questions and a positive conversation may then lead to an appointment to “continue this interesting discussion.”

So when your prospect says he doesn’t want to meet with you because he’s all set with another provider, don’t panic or hang up.  Just say:

“It may surprise you to learn that I’m happy to hear that.  Quite often I speak with people who tell me they’re unhappy with their provider.  That always concerns me because it suggests they may be having difficulties themselves and that it’s not an issue with the provider.  I sense that yours is a healthy and well-managed company, the kind I want to talk with.

Now given that you’re happy with your current provider, may I ask what it is they do particularly well for you?  I may be able to learn from that. What are they doing that makes you happy with them?”

Notice that this is consistent with the “just a couple of quick questions” rule. You have disarmed the prospect, avoided arguing or being defensive, and instead asked him to elaborate on what he likes about his provider.  Now just listen and don’t be judgmental.

If the conversation proceeds, you may then add:   “Let me just make one small point, and that is that in my experience, well-managed companies like yours (or “astute business people like you”) try to avoid having just one provider of a critical service.  I’m not trying to break your existing relationship, but wouldn’t it make sense to allow me to visit and introduce myself?  That way if you ever have a need for our services, we’ll already be acquainted, and you’ll know who to call to get help.”

And now you have your nose under the tent.

Two final points:  First, let me remind you that these communication skill approaches to objection handling on the phone are not sure-fire.  People who are inclined to hang up or refuse the appointment are likely to do so no matter what you say, but some will be impressed with your expertise and confidence and you’ll get some appointments you would otherwise have missed. You’ll also improve your overall phone skills, an asset you will have for life no matter what you do.

Second, keep in mind that your best chance to get an appointment from telephone prospecting is when you have a warm referral from someone the prospect knows well.  Great salespeople always try to find this method first.

You have to be able to…

Think Like Your Customer

 

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About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at www.actionsystemstraining.com.

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