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Competitorโ€™s services ๐๐„๐“๐“๐„๐‘๐Ÿ“ˆ, ๐…๐€๐’๐“๐„๐‘๐Ÿš€ and ๐‚๐‡๐„๐€๐๐„๐‘ ๐Ÿซฐ? (5 min read)

Topic: SERVICE SALES

I believe training is not a one-time deal and would like to share an example of how Iโ€™ve used a customer visit to solidify the concepts of the service sales training.

๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐?๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

Before the visit, my sales colleague had shared that the customer we were visiting was going to designate our company as their sole service provider for all their products across the country. My colleague was happy to have me come along as the customer apparently had a couple of โ€œtechnical questionsโ€ related to our calibration service, which I should be able to answer. Sounds great, right?

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Well, the visit started with a surprise๐Ÿ™€ as the first thing the customer did was ask us to substantiate how our services are better than the competition. Luckily, I had previously created a customer facing slide deck for our sales team. I used it to give an overview of our service depot operations, including the equipment we used, the level of training our technicians went through and free shipping to and from our three depot locations. I also provided evidence of how our service plans were better in terms of quality and value compared to competitors.

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๐“๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ข๐œ?๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Next came an even bigger surprise! The customer informed us that he had recently used a competitor. Apparently, they charged less, were willing to do the service at the customerโ€™s site, therefore faster and claimed to be as good as we were. He was now questioning whether he could save money on service by switching to what he thought was a cheaper service provider. I could just about see it as panic set in my sales colleagueโ€™s face.

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๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž!โŒš๏ธ

Well, it was time to put to practice some of the concepts we teach in the service sales training class. I started by asking the customer what the products did, what happened when they didnโ€™t work properly and what exactly they were trying to accomplish. We learned that the products were used in production and when the products failed to deliver the expected results, the usersโ€™ time and expensive reagents became a sunk cost. Add insult to injury so to speak, overtime was then needed to re-do everything all over again.

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๐Ÿ…ต๐Ÿ…ฐ๐Ÿ†‚๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†๐Ÿš€

I decided to start with what was arguably our weakest point. We couldnโ€™t make our service faster, but there were some counter-arguments to share with the customer.

โ€ขย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Onsite service required granting access to the facility and providing space for the technicians to work. We knew it would be an inconvenience, if not a safety concern for this type of customer.

โ€ขย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  They could also send the instruments to us in batches. We knew from our marketing research that they rotated users. We just had to confirm with the customer.

โ€ขย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  We could also service their products over the weekend when they were closed, and therefore have no impact to their operations.

We could already see that the customer was re-considering with just these simple arguments in what was our weakest point.

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๐Ÿ…ฑ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ†ƒ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ“ˆ

Knowing the customer wasted expensive resources was the key to winning him over. We just had to get confirmation that they were still struggling to get the outcome they needed after the instruments were serviced by the competitor. As I had already pointed out to the customer in my short presentation, the calibration provided by competitors introduced a much greater margin of error. The inferior quality of the service provided by the competitor directly impacted the customerโ€™s ability to get the results they wanted. The killer blow was provided by the customer himself when he brought over the competitorโ€™s service report, which substantiated our point about the competitorโ€™s calibration margin of error.

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๐Ÿ…ฒ๐Ÿ…ท๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ…ฐ๐Ÿ…ฟ๐Ÿ…ด๐Ÿ†๐Ÿซฐ

Better had probably already won over the customer, but cheaper would be the knockout blow. The service report also provided us the proof to what we had already claimed in the short presentation. Our service plan included all parts, while our competitors didnโ€™t. As it turned out, we were about 30% cheaper than the competitor once you took into account the cost of those parts. We didnโ€™tโ€™ even need to go over the other value-added features of our service plan.

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๐ˆ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐š ๐–๐ข๐ง-๐–๐ข๐ง-๐–๐ข๐ง

๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ††๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ…ฝ #1 - ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ ๐ ๐จ๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ข๐œ๐ž

The customer agreed that our services were better and cheaper and that the onsite service created multiple hassles. He also acknowledged that the lure of a lower price, which wasnโ€™t, had already cost them so much more in terms of money and time.

๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ††๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ…ฝ #2 - ๐–๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฅ๐ž

It was therefore no surprise that we won the business for all products in all sites. The company secured a key customer and the sales rep blew his service quota.

๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ††๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ…ฝ #3 - ๐–๐ž ๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ ๐š๐ง ๐š๐๐ฏ๐จ๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ž

The most important was to show a sales colleague that the principles and techniques of the service sales training do apply with a real customer. From then on he applied the concepts from the training and surpassed his sales quotas every quarter. And, until I left the organization, he was one of the strongest advocates and supporters of Service.

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Are your sales team prepared to talk to customers about your services? Do they know what questions to ask? Do they have the materials to present? How do they handle service objections? Do they know what makes your service better than the competition? Can they handle better, faster and cheaper?




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The ServiceWise Marketing Blog consist of thought-provoking articles focused on various topics related to the business of Service. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in our blog articles are solely that of ServiceWise Solutions and our contributors and does not necessarily reflect the views of other third-party platforms, institutions or other associated parties. Please reference ServiceWise Solutions as the author when sharing or re-posting content from the ServiceWise Marketing Blog.

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