Acquiring new business is like locating that vulnerable spot in a dragon’s scales. If any of you read The Hobbit, you understand that the hero’s quest is all about perceiving and taking advantage of vulnerabilities. You must locate the chinks in your competitor’s protective armor.
If you are selling, chances are you are trying to unseat an incumbent: your competitor. That competitor is comfortable doing business with your prospect. There’s a relationship: they are like two peas in a pod.
Your hero or heroine’s quest is to disrupt their comfortable status quo party. But how to take advantage of their complacency?
The chinks in their protective armor are there. You may need to think smaller, and yet more strategically, at the same time. Let’s explore this idea.
- Chink #1: Root causes can have really big contexts and impacts. Often strategic vulnerabilities initially seem too small to be taken seriously by both your competitor and your prospect. Yet the sum total of lots of vulnerabilities can be significant. What your customer and prospect ignore can become the fulcrum you use to topple them from complacent mindset.
- Chink #2: You are focusing on the wrong target. Often, these chinks in your competitor’s armor are overlooked in your selling efforts. You’ve been taught to focus on the big stuff: triggers, features, benefits and strategy. The larger your focus, the more unsettling and disruptive your solution appears to prospects. Focus on small solutions which can be addressed comfortably.
- Chink #3: Often these small areas of vulnerability impact your prospect’s own competitiveness and marketplace viability. The sum total of small areas of competitive vulnerability falls under the umbrella of their strategic priorities. You have identified their strategic priorities, right?
When you articulate simple solutions creating a large impact throughout your prospect’s corporate culture, your prospects start to listen.
- Focus on identifying chinks in your competitor’s armor.
- Focus on identifying small areas of competitive vulnerability in your prospect’s organization.
- Focus on creating collaborative solutions having a pervasive, and positive, impact within your customer’s organization.
Like you, your competitors and prospects tended to overlook or dismiss the chinks in their armor because they didn’t see themselves as vulnerable.
Until you came along and opened their eyes. Too late for your competitor. Just in time for your prospect-turned-customer.
- Guide your prospects, and your current customers.
- Teach them how to “see” things with new eyes.
- Create enduring and sustainable value for them.
Earn their attention and their business as well.
Babette N. Ten Haken, is President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC and author of its award-winning blog. She catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development for non-traditional sellers, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups. Her book on collaboration strategies, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.