Who is your competition? Are you thinking of companies that sell products or services similar to yours? Yes, that is your competition. But are there others?
Remember the classic movie Jaws, about the great white shark instilling fear in the town of Amity Island? Jaws, the shark, does not fully appear in the film until the 1 hour and 21-minute mark! But, we know the shark exists because of the music you hear when he is lurking – duunnn, duunnn, duuuunnnn duun, duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn!
Like Jaws, who does not appear until much later in the film, your competition may not appear until later. Have you ever thought your competition may not be a similar product or service? You may win if there is a purchase, but what is the decision maker considering? How many different ways could that person decide to invest their budget? What if they use their capital to purchase something unrelated to your products and services? A nightmare for all salespeople. It may sound like this: “They went a different direction.”
If you are not speaking with all the influences in an account and getting the complete picture, the Jaws theme should be loud in your head. What is going to pop out and derail your chances to close successfully? Successful salespeople understand that a solid deterrent to surprises is developing and presenting a compelling business case. They ask questions of all influencers in an account to determine their priorities and buying process and then put this information together as a business case that travels well. After all, as hard as you try, you may not be invited to the table to present your solution. Your champion may have to present it for you, and they need to be well prepared to show the benefits of choosing your product or service compared to other options.
A convincing business case helps a person understand the benefits and risks of a purchase. It compares alternatives and the benefits of the recommendation with other options and the risk of not doing anything. A strong business case makes a compelling argument for implementation. A successful business case must:
- Focus on your prospect’s business.
- Use your prospect’s data.
- Be flexible.
- Be clear and complete.
- Be simple and easy to understand.
If you are losing business to your competition, known or unknown, now is the time to learn the skill of developing a compelling business case. One of the most famous lines from the movie Jas was, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” In selling, you may need a bigger business case.