Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s the devil that we know versus the devil that we don’t?”
What do they actually mean by that? I’ve heard that phrase a lot when conducting Win Loss interviews with my clients. Basically, the buyer decided to stick with the company that they already knew, even though they have some significant customer service issues, rather than going with an unknown new company.
Why Buyers Stay With Competitors
It’s the idea of not wanting to swap existing issues that you’re already familiar with—and have built workarounds for—versus moving to a new vendor who may come with a new set of issues that could quite possibly be worse than what you already have.
Out of the Pan Into the Fire
Honestly, it’s like any relationship that we have in life. No situation or relationship is perfect. Everything and everyone comes with issues. Think about your significant other, or any previous relationship you had. You may have had a long list of things that you tolerated, mostly because the positives about the relationship far outweighed the negatives.
You also knew that things could be much worse with someone else. I heard someone say once that when you change relationships, you trade 10 things you don’t like about the existing relationship for 10 new things you won’t like about the new one.
The Motivating Factor
So what’s the motivation for a buyer to leave a current situation that may not be ideal in exchange for assuming the risk to move to a new relationship that may be even worse?
It really goes beyond having a great sales approach and simply slapping on a halo to cover up the horns beneath. Take the time to listen to the buyer’s concerns and issues they are currently experiencing, and then be honest about any shortcomings you may have and the company road map that is in place to address those issues.
Don’t go in with the mentality that you don’t have any problems, because they won’t buy it – literally and figuratively. Your job is to convince them that any issues that may arise will quickly be addressed. Bring in members of the implementation and account teams during the sales process, which will help them have a level of comfort and confidence with the post-sales support.
The Halo Effect
You don’t have to be an angel to convince them to leave their existing supplier, but you do need to prove to them that your team will work hard to overcome any shortcomings you may have. The value and benefits that you bring to the table will have to be much better than what they are getting with their current provider.