Handling Objections: "I'm happy with my Current Provider"

Posted on 05/01/2007 in Handling Objections

"The obstacles you face are mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach." -Charles Blasier

The Best Sales Professionals Respond Skillfully to Objections

What are the most common sales objections?  How can you improve your ability to respond to these objections? 

All salespeople encounter objections, but the best salespeople are more creative and confident in their ability to respond to objections.  What is the most difficult objection that you encounter from customers? 

Common Objection:  "I'm happy with my current provider"

Think about how you or your sales team currently responds to that objection.  Average sales professionals tend to give up when the customer says that he or she is happy with the current situation.  The best salespeople, by contrast, have learned some effective ways to respond.

Depending on the industry that you are in, and the type of selling that you do (product or service sales), listed below are four effective ways to respond to "I'm happy with my current provider."

  1. Highlight a differentiator about your company, product, or service.  The customer may indeed be happy with their current situation, but isn't aware that your company could offer some additional benefits or services that their current provider doesn't have. 
  2. Ask more questions to probe further about the level of satisfaction with the current provider or supplier.  We recommend two questions in particular.  First ask "what do you (the customer) like about the current situation?"  This would be critical information to learn, because eventually you will have to meet or exceed those criteria.  Second, ask "If you could change one thing about your current situation, what would it be?"  The best salespeople have learned to dig a little deeper because a new customer will not readily disclose areas for improvement unless you persist.
  3. Use the "Swiss Cheese" approach.  Ask for a small share of the customer's business as a way to demonstrate the value of your company and product/service.  This allows the customer to test how well your company does without displacing their current provider.  This doesn't work in all industries but can be quite effective because it doesn't feel aggressive or greedy to the customer.
  4. Don't give up because the situation may change.  The best salespeople are persistent about calling on prospective customers.  A comprehensive study on business-to-business selling documented that average sellers gave up after making fewer than two sales calls on new customers, whereas successful sellers made five or more sales calls.  If a customer says, "I'm satisfied" tell him or her that you would still like to stay in touch, especially since things may change in the future.  This allows you to build a relationship with the customer and to demonstrate firsthand to the customer that you are reliable. 

Learn more about handling objections by visiting our Essential Selling Skills workshop page and our Online Selling Skills series page. Sales Managers interested in helping their salespeople improve handling objections skills, visit our Sales Meeting Kits: Handling Objections page.