Often, sales people will over-sell in order to get a deal. They make promises they can’t keep, and trap clients with year-long contracts. This becomes a churn and burn strategy that just isn’t sustainable. Meanwhile, B2B service providers that are honest about expectations up front end up closing fewer deals because they are perceived as providing less value, based on their words. So the question is, how do you compete as an ethical B2B company?
The good news is that if you build a solid relationship with your prospect, they may come back to you after your competitor doesn’t follow through on their promises. However, you lose a lot of time under those circumstances, and your prospect loses trust in the services you provide. A better outcome is to get the deal.
From explaining to them why the competition can’t deliver to leaning into transparency, here are the 6 ways to close a B2B prospect when your competitors promise the moon.
- Explain to Them Why the Competition Can’t Deliver
- Be Realistic About What You Can Achieve
- Be Honest and Focus On Developing Trust
- Don’t Bait & Switch
- Offer a Realistic Bailout Plan
- Lean into Transparency
Explain to Them Why the Competition Can’t Deliver
If you’re certain what the competition is offering is unattainable, show the potential client why you think so and try to convince them through your grasp of the market and your niche. Focus on explaining the competition’s mistake, not selling your product. After all, discouraging someone from buying from the competition is one thing but explaining why exactly the competition cannot deliver what they promise is another. Clients will appreciate someone who knows their business and can back up their claims with facts.
Be Realistic About What You Can Achieve
Be realistic about what you can achieve for the prospect and don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you’re honest and upfront about what you can do for them, they’ll appreciate your candor and be more likely to work with you.
Be Honest and Focus On Developing Trust
In business, it’s important to always be honest with your clients and customers. If you overpromise and underdeliver, you will damage your reputation and lose the trust of those you do business with.
This is especially true when selling to other businesses. When your competition makes unrealistic promises, it can be tempting to follow suit in order to win the account. However, this is not a good long-term strategy.
Instead, focus on being realistic and providing value that your competition cannot match. By being honest and transparent, you will build trust with your prospects and position yourself as a partner they can rely on.
Ultimately, this is the best way to win new business without overpromising.
Don’t Bait & Switch
As a marketing manager in the performance industry that goes way back in the industry knowing Dennis Consorte. I’m tired of sales reps giving the bait of a performance-based deal and then when you’re about to go live… they switch to a typical retainer or hourly model.
So, all the confidence in a win-win deal goes out the door when it’s time to launch. It’s so frustrating and it leaves a bitter taste to not be open to new partnership deals.
Now I work in the mattress industry that sells B2B to stores. So many manufacturers are fighting for floor space and the challenge is that some sales reps can over-promise the value “bait” they bring and underdeliver on that promise aka switch.
Offer a Realistic Bailout Plan
When on a negotiation table, it is always advisable to propose a possible deal. Promising a bailout for a B2B sales prospect assures the involved party that if they run into trouble financially, they have a contingency plan in you.
A bailout is a realistic offer since it acts as an emergency fund for the business. It gives you access to the businesses’ market and benefits and makes you a reliable partner since you hold the key to the organization’s future.
Lean into Transparency
If you can’t be the vendor with the biggest promise, be the vendor with the most transparency. Directly attacking your competition in a sales conversation can easily backfire. Instead, talk straight about what you can realistically deliver to the prospect, and have the content to back it up.
Provide case studies about the results you’ve generated and collateral with your process or typical timelines for results. It will become clear to the prospect that your competitor is relying on big talk, while you have a track record of real results and a proven process for generating them. It’ll be even easier if you can tell a story or deliver a case study about a client who came to you after being fooled by another vendor that made big, unrealistic promises.