February 5


Your Biggest Competition is No One?

That’s exactly right.  Any seasoned salesperson will agree that they’ve lost more sales to people doing nothing than going with any of their competitors – by a fairly large margin.

Why is that?  

Let’s go back to your family dinner growing up.  My guess is that everyone in your family had “their place” at the table.  If you sat in someone else’s place, things would be uncomfortable.  Do you always sit in the same chair in your conference room?  Your school classroom? Chances are the place you sat for the first time is the same place you sit every time.

There is a powerful “mental shortcut” that explains this behavior. It is called the “status quo bias”. Simply stated, it is the strong tendency to remain in one’s current situation.  

Sure, it’s important to focus on the competition, but if you want to see sales increase quickly, you’ll want to focus on a solution to the “status quo bias”.

So, step one in growing sales is to answer the question –


The best way to answer this question is to gain commitment with solid logic. Help your buyer truly understand the problems that make change more than a good idea – a necessity. The buyers’ problems are a core element of the sale. If properly communicated, problem solving will become one of their primary buying motivators.

Here are some things you can do to build a case for change…

Find Problems

Sales 101 teaches you to be a problem solver.  In today’s B2B sales environment, being a problem finder is just as important.  If you can genuinely uncover problems for your prospect, you gain the authority to also help them find a solution.

This can be a significant advantage.  Buyers are typically 60% – 70% into the sales process before they ever talk to a sales person.  If you can proactively get in front of this process, you are ahead of the competition. Most importantly, you have an opportunity to answer the question,”Why Change?”.

A proven way to introduce the problem or “pain” is to communicate that many of your existing clients came to you with PROBLEM 1 and PROBLEM 2.  You can then ask questions designed to determine if these are similar to the challenges your prospect is facing.

Find the CAUSE, not just the SYMPTOM

It is typically easier to find the symptom; however, to truly fix the problem you need to determine the cause.  Doing this will give you additional credibility to suggest solutions.

Make the Problems Real

People essentially make decisions for one of two reasons.  Either they want to benefit (greed) or they want to avoid the risk (fear).  A study in Scientific American showed that people feel greater regret for a decision they made that resulted in a negative outcome, than if that same outcome was caused by their indecision.

Position your product or service in such a way that shows prospects that making no decision is risky on their part. In addition, prove to them that the right decision- working with you- will be beneficial to them.

Again, most companies we talk to tend to spend a great deal of their attention figuring out how to beat their competition.  While that is important, overcoming that natural desire to simply do nothing will have a major impact on your sales. MarketSense uses data, marketing, and analytics to predictably grow sales. Understanding the science and behavior that helps buyers get comfortable making solid decisions is built into every engagement.

author avatar
Tom Poole


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