The “I’m Happy With My Current Supplier” Objection

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A common question I receive from sales reps is:   “When I am prospecting, I always hear “I am happy with my current supplier.”  I can’t sell when I can’t even get in the door.  How should I handle this objection?”

Of course you hear this objection over and over!  Most prospects are happy with their current supplier.  Otherwise, they would have called you before you called them!  If by some chance the prospect was unhappy enough that he picked up the phone to call you, they would have also called your competitors as well.

Dig deeper into the prospect’s relationship with his current supplier.  Ask how long they have been dealing with their supplier and why they changed to them in the first place.  Ask what it is specifically that makes them happy with their current supplier.

You must also plan ahead by knowing what competitive advantages you have over that supplier.  You can then develop questions which differentiate yourself.  For example:  “Mr. Prospect, some users of your brand of widgets have told us that they experienced an issue with _____.  Have you ever experienced this problem?  How did that affect your operation?  Would it help if we solved that problem?”  

By being prepared with questions for at least three competitive advantages for each particular supplier, you should create enough need in the prospect’s eyes so that you can get the appointment.  If not, perhaps they were not the competitive advantages that you thought they were!

Don’t be surprised by this objection.  Expect it and plan for it!

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections
www.b2bsalesconnections.com, www.linkedin.com/in/susanenns, or www.twitter.com/SusanEnns

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4 thoughts on “The “I’m Happy With My Current Supplier” Objection

  1. You are absolutely right Susan, perhaps in this case you have a tight-lipped buyer in front of you. If that is the case, you could also try the following question. If there was one thing you would change about your current supplier, what would it be? This should work nicely because everyone knows that nobody, or nothing, is perfect. If you still don’t have a business problem, need, want, and desire coming out of the buyer’s mouth you probably don’t have a serious prospective client in front of you. Don’t waste your time and move on to the next prospect.

    Robert Couture, CSP

  2. Good post Susan. You hit the nail on the head. The first thing you have to do is research your biggest competitors and be prepared to discuss their deficiencies.

    A good idea I learned from reading “SNAP Selling” by Jill Konrath is to also research your prospect prior to the call. If it’s available, find news events that your product can help them with. For example, you might download their financial reports if it’s public. Use that in your approach. In fact, if you call and say something like “Hi Sue. My name is Emanuel and I’m with ABC Company. I read in your financials that your revenues decreased by $4 million from last year to this one. I have a few ideas I think can help you. Want to get together next week?”

    I approach the happy with vendor objection a few ways:

    1. Compliment the prospect on his current vendor selection first. Then ask him how he deals with the things you know your product or service does that the competition’s doesn’t. If he doesn’t have an answer, ask for a time to discuss how you may be able to help him solve this problem. If he has the time, share how you’ve helped other people with his title or in his industry before scheduling a meeting.

    2. Simply say “That’s not a problem. Several of our customers were with that company at first but when we showed them how we were able to help them…they were really impressed with the improvement.” Then try to schedule a meeting or a conference call to discuss this further.

    3. Use the spare tire analogy. Assure your prospect that you are not trying to replace their current vendor and that you just want to get together to share how you might be able to help just in case of an emergency. When their current vendor screws up (most do) be ready to dazzle them with your service. But don’t wait for your prospect to contact you. Adapt a nuture program and keep in touch. Don’t make “just checking in” calls. Instead, send relevant articles, case studies, and your recent success stories. Ask to get together to share info face to face if it makes sense. People do business with people they know. When you nurture, you’re someone they know.

    Kind regards,

    Emanuel Carpenter
    Author of “Six-Figure Cold Calling”

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