Winning at Competitive and Complex Selling
Complex selling refers to situations where the client issues a Request for Proposal (RFP) and you end up in a competitive selling situation to supply the product or service. This type of selling occurs frequently for high ticket items where there are many stakeholders and involves the selling of products and services such as:
- Enterprise technology equipment and software
- Point of Sales Systems
- Inventory and Warehouse Management Systems
- Consulting engineering services
- Data analysis, networks and management solutions
- Large mining equipment
- Telecommunications equipment and networks
- Government acquisition of hardware and software
- and etc.
Anatomy of a Complex Sale
Complex sales usually involve long sales cycles with multiple decision makers. The purchase price is often large and the purchaser faces a higher risk of making the wrong purchasing decision. To mitigate this risk, the purchaser will often look for suppliers with more credibility, known quality and with whom they have already built trust. However, these days, more often than not, the purchaser will tend to go with the low price vendor or pressure you to lower your prices.
Competing with the low price vendor
Many vendors rely on being the lowest priced supplier. You already know that the brand you are carrying cannot compete on the ticket price alone. What do you do now? Lower your price so that you can win even if it means selling at a loss? The problem with this strategy is that there is always someone out there who is willing to sell at an even lower price.
Selling based on the total cost of ownership
In order to win this order, you need to demonstrate that over the life of the project or the product, your product will give the lowest cost of ownership. This means carefully dissecting the components that make up the price and demonstrating that your product is superior in quality characteristics such as:
- Spare parts
- User friendliness
- and etc.
For each the quality metrics mentioned above, you can calculate a Peso equivalent of the metric and show that your product will actually cost less. You will be showing that your competitor’s product is actually more expensive when you add factors like downtime and maintenance.
You might also stress that buying your product actually translates to less revenue losses due to downtime. The revenue loss alone might be enough to overcome the price advantage of the competitor.
When you sum it all up, over the lifetime of the project, though your price may look higher initially, it is cheaper in the long run.
Winning at Complex Selling
The above situation is where the sales executive with the ability to build strong relationships and complex selling skills will excel. He will be able to get the purchaser to consider him as being more than just a commodity supplier. He will use his consultative selling skills to show the customers the right solutions available. He will also be able to dissect the components of the price and demonstrate that the total cost of ownership of his product or service is superior to that of the competitors and ultimately win the project.
Learn Winning at Competitive and Complex Selling
You too can develop the winning edge in Competitive and Complex Selling. Attend one of our Sales Seminars. Give us a call now.
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