Most of the time, when you steal customers from your competitors, they are one of two types: extremely unhappy with the product or service (which could also mean they’re high-maintenance), or loss leaders that your competitors don’t really want. The customers you really want to steal are the ones that are profitable and low maintenance. Impossible, you say? Your competitors’ loyal clients may be less secure than you think. They may have problems they don’t even realize, or may be missing opportunities they are unaware of, but in either case, their desired outcomes may be at risk if they continue to take a “status quo approach.” What they don’t know can hurt them!
If your competitors’ salespeople are like most, their intuition tells them that their job is to always keep the client happy. They think a successful client relationship is one in which everyone is always smiling. They spend a lot of time and energy trying to maintain a positive equilibrium, as if the client relationship, and whether they are liked, is the endgame.
Incumbents also don’t like to introduce change for fear that it may open up the customer to consider alternatives. When you are the status quo, maintaining it is job #1. It’s a dangerous belief—and a little naïve. It also makes for a great opportunity for you to steal some business.
What the competitors’ customers don’t know can hurt them. And as the outsider, it’s your job to break the “bad news.”
You need to get their senior executives’ attention by telling them something they don’t know, about a risk or missed opportunity they don’t know they have. You need to challenge their status quo approach (which includes your competitor).
Here’s what you need to do:
- You must be willing to push your competitors’ customers out of their comfort zone.
- You need to help your competitors’ customers see their challenges in a new light.
- You have to highlight specific, painful situations and make them unmistakably urgent.
- You need to create constructive tension and use it to your advantage.
This is counterintuitive to many companies and salespeople who are afraid that the customer will shoot the messenger… but it’s what it takes to make an impact. You need to deliver a distinct point of view that adds value to these prospects by getting them to consider why their status quo is no longer safe, and see the opportunity in doing something different.
To learn more, watch our on-demand webinar: Distinct Point of View: Bring Them the Bad News.