Every now and then you’ll encounter a prospect who has scar tissue concerning service providers who have let them down. When you’re stepping in to meet their needs, those concerns should be addressed.
The first step is to ask questions that will help you preemptively neutralize objections, starting with the following:
- “How many projects have you reviewed in the energy space during your career here at the firm?”
- “How many of those projects have been approved?”
- “What made it easy for them to be approved?”
- “What was the most gratifying project you've done (and why)?”
The point of asking these questions is to get the lay of the land. You will discover not only what has given them satisfaction, but also what has irritated them in the past and left them feeling vulnerable.
They might say, “Well, I really liked that project because we were able to maintain control of operating costs and avoid headcount reductions.” Or they might say, “We did this one particular project to upgrade our lighting. Boy, our pick and pack accuracy went way up. We had much less explaining to do to headquarters.” Maybe they’ll say, “We stopped filling orders with the wrong product because with the better-quality lighting, our people could actually read the SKU codes.”
When you hear stories like this it telegraphs what these prospects are looking for: accuracy, safety, quality, etc. You’ll learn similar things from their horror stories. This is part of your responsibility as a sales professional and a key to maintaining your competitive advantage. You need to gain industry foreknowledge and know what other vendors are operating in your space, both good and bad, so that you can position your offerings in their most favorable light.