How do you overcome a situation when a marketing decision-maker says to you that they’re already working with another vendor?
Most business development people will say something to the effect of, “Oh, ok, who’s that? How long have you been working with them? Are you happy with them?” and so on. All the while, digging themselves into a conversation and relationship killing hole.
When approached from this perspective, the prospect is likely to always say, “Yeah we’re happy; things are good; we’ve been working together for years; or, we’re not looking right now.”
Now, there’s no place to go from this hole.
So the key to answering that statement, and avoiding the hole altogether, is to eliminate it entirely from the beginning.
Instead, ask a question and create a little curiosity to engage the prospect. Here’s a perfect example conversation:
Biz Dev Person: “Hi Susan, I’m John Smith, I work for Acme Advertising. We’re experts in Millennial Marketing through gamification.”
Prospect: “Hi John. We’re already working with Big Guys Advertising for our millennial marketing programs.”
Biz Dev Person: (Begins hole digging exercise…)
Do This Instead-
Biz Dev Person: “Hi Susan, I’m John Smith. I see that your brand’s sales to millennials have been sluggish the past few months and I have some ideas to help you with new customer acquisition through gamification. Thought you might be interested?”
(With an opening like this, I’ve never been told, “We’re already working with ABC company.” Instead, I typically see the following…)
Prospect: “Hi John. I might be. What are you doing in that area?”
So if you simply change what you say to intrigue the prospect, you won’t have to deal with the current vendor objection ever again. The key is to avoid getting in that situation in the first place!
Golden rule: Don’t tell prospects what your company does right out of the gate. Focus on the business objectives you address, and the outcomes you achieve. Change what you say and you’ll change the responses you get.