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We're interviewing several companies objection

I was told that if you find out that the potential client will be interviewing more than one company that I should ask to be the last to present.

This sounds kind of risky. I mean, what if the guy before me seals the deal?

If you were in this position what would you do? - by bridger480
I was told that if you find out that the potential client will be interviewing more than one company that I should ask to be the last to present.

This sounds kind of risky. I mean, what if the guy before me seals the deal?

If you were in this position what would you do?
First to present is the desirable position. - by Gary Boye
If your prospect is really interviewing several firms, they may have to get a few quotes or something. So, the odds are that they won't make a final decision until all the interviews are over. I'd find out what the situation is.

If the final decision won't be made until after all the intereviews, I'd want to be last. You then get the last word. Your presentation is the one that is uppermost in their minds.

And, the really great thing about it is that you have the opportunity to answer any issues raised by your competitors. Of course, you have to ask a question like: How does this approach compare to the others you have reviewed?

Then, with luck, the customer will say something like: well, I like your ideas, but XYZ company does carry blue widgets and you dont.

Then, you can explain that if they need blue widgets, you will keep a special order stock just for this customer.

Assuming all that is true, of course. But, I've had several situations where I was the last presenter and was able to uncover and address issues raised by competitors.

It doesn't mean you aren't doing a good presentation. Often it just means that the RFP the customer wrote was not as clear as it could have been. Or, that the customer came up with a new requirement while talking to the competitors. Or that your competitor said "We are the ONLY company who can offer you this service" and it's not true.

If you're last, you are in a much better position to shine, IMO

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
You summed that up quite nicely Kathleen. :) - by Jackie
Kathleen what you said is very close to what I was told except for the not making a final decision until the interviews were over and the part about things changing from the first guy to the last.

I like the idea of going first but last week a lady told me she wasn't going to hire the first company she talked to and we didn't get the deal. That made me wonder what the other people were saying like you said.

I haven't had alot of people tell me that they are talking to others so maybe I'm just overreacting but $500 is $500 right?

Have to run. Thanks. :) - by bridger480
You always want to proceed in a competitive sales situation as if the competition's selling skills are as strong or stronger than your own--even if you know differently. That is true whether you are a novice or a seasoned pro. If the competition is weak and you get the sale easily, there are large residual benefits to winning a sale in overwhelming fashion.

We don't always have a choice of in-what-order we will present. Keep in mind that buyers have a tendency to invite their first choices first, even when requesting several proposals.

If there is a choice, I want to be first in. My objective, after ascertaining the needs and requirements, is to place an invulnerable offer on the table.

An invulnerable offer is one that will not be beaten by its own shortcomings.

Assuming there are not circumstances that I have absolutely no control over, the people who make presentations after me, in order to win the sale, must do so with an alternative offer which is also invulnerable. That can be a little harder to do--but not necessarily.

Buyers prefer alternatives over choices. What that means is, they would rather consider (A or B) than (A or B or C or D...etc.) A or B represents alternatives which means between two.

In almost all cases, the field will be narrowed to two as the presentations and offers progress. Once that happens, those last in line must construct an offer that is invulnerable, creative--and that represents a new alternative which lumps the previous proposals together.

The creative offer can win the sale, but it is more difficult to construct it. In addition, being last in line, the purchaser, unless he/she is disenchanted with the previous offers, will generally not give as much attention. The process driven buying pattern gives way to the task driven pattern. What starts out as process driven, even under a bureaucratic environment, eventually becomes task driven. That is a key factor in competitive situations.

Obviously, I've studied it. I've been A, B, C, D, and last over the course of thousands of these situations. I've compared notes with others who have been successful at this. We've drawn conclusions that say that, although you can't guarantee winning the sale, if you work with invulnerable offers, your percentages are greater by being first, and are slightly diminished down the order--and-- when last among several, it is more difficult.

People who are new to selling would be among those who have trouble grasping what I said--and it's understandable, of course. It took me a long time to understand the concept of the invulnerable offer in sales. - by Gary Boye
Thanks Gary for sharing your experiences. Every little bit helps. :) - by bridger480
I've never been in biz to biz sales. Only direct in home selling. Yet from time to time I get the same objection. More often than not I handle it, regardless of the order I'm in. And I really have no particular preference where I am at in the order. What I have found to be true is that if you conduct yourself in a professional manner, and you are knowlegable about your product, other offerings in your industy, mindful of your clients needs, and they trust you. They will buy. No one really likes to take the time to sit through several presentations. It's more of I have to be a good consumer and do my homework to protect my money or my company's money. I believe consultive type selling overcomes this particular objection most of the time. - by klozerking
The order in which you present is irrelevant. When a prospect is interviewing several different suppliers, the seller needs to find out what is most important to the prospect.

Find out:
  • what dangers/obstacles they need to overcome
  • what their biggest opportunities to capture are
  • what their greatest strengths are
  • where they see themselves 3 years down the road
If you can get answers to all four of the above questions, you will have made progress in developing a trusting relationship because only then can you truly create value.

-Terri - by Terri
I was told that if you find out that the potential client will be interviewing more than one company that I should ask to be the last to present.

This sounds kind of risky. I mean, what if the guy before me seals the deal?

If you were in this position what would you do?
If it is corporate sales I would want to be last. People feel obligated more to the company to listen to all the presentations. There for you have the best chance at being remembered and you can ask what the others have said and show how your product/service is better.

If it is consumer sales such as Real Estate, I would prefer to go first. The sellers of a home really are not obligated to anyone how many agents they should talk to. They just are searching to find the right one. If you can be the right one first and handle the objection that they already have other appointments then you can close the deal then and there. Plus do you really think they enjoy the interview process? Most people have better things to do with their time than to talk to sales people. If I was last in a Real Estate listing presentation. I would just have to assume that the deal was mine to lose, because the others did not have a very strong presentation.

These are generalizations and there are exceptions and I do offer money back guarantees for those who paid for my analysis. ;wi - by Jorel
Bridger 480,
Unlike everyone else, I would like to go first and LAST! In
other words
I would position myself with the prospect so that since everyone else got a chance to compete with my offer I would be afforded the opportunity to compete against
theirs
. Something else I keep missing in these forums is most responses never talk about the importance about selling YOURSELF! That and that alone is the
magic
of sales. I don't care about the product or the price. It is eventually going to come down to who the client feels the most comfortable with. Who the client trusts the most. I have closed many sales where I am way over priced compared to competitors or maybe their product has a slight edge. It means very little in the long run. People buy from people they like and trust. One last comment...I have been reading the answers from
a lot
of the people in this forum and is offensive the snide remarks that I see in reference to clients. Almost like these people are using trickery to close the deal. You have a choice to make as a sales professional...Manipulate your client into buying, which I see constantly in this forum or motivate your client into buying. "The Specialist" prefers the latter.

"The Specialist" - by The Specialist
One last comment...I have been reading the answers from
a lot
of the people in this forum and is offensive the snide remarks that I see in reference to clients. Almost like these people are using trickery to close the deal. You have a choice to make as a sales professional...Manipulate your client into buying, which I see constantly in this forum or motivate your client into buying. "The Specialist" prefers the latter.
Without pointing to specifics Tom can you give a couple examples of the snide remarks or manipulating methods that you see contstantly? This could be helpful for readers who don't understand the difference. - by Jolly Roger
Yes I can!
If you read AZ Broker, responses (No Offense to him) laced through a lot of his responses are a telling tale of his take on sincerity. Example: And I quote... In his response he tells the questioner his reply with this nugget. You can appear to be helpful and obliging. How about not appearing to be helpful but really take a sincere interest in the prospect and BE HELPFUL and OBLIGING!

"The Specialist" - by The Specialist
Yes I can!
If you read AZ Broker, responses (No Offense to him) laced through a lot of his responses are a telling tale of his take on sincerity. Example: And I quote... In his response he tells the questioner his reply with this nugget. You can appear to be helpful and obliging. How about not appearing to be helpful but really take a sincere interest in the prospect and BE HELPFUL and OBLIGING!

"The Specialist"
This is the only post I could find that involved AZ Broker and the word "obliging". Is this the post? http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-1707-5.html?highlight=obliging#post15423 - by Jolly Roger
Jolly Roger,
You sound like you really care about our great industry. For that I applaud you. It is not just az broker. They are every where. There was one last night talking about not getting out of his car in the cold. Can't the prospect tell the house was small when they drove up? What is that? These people that degrade our industry are imposters! The list goes on. I worry about the young sales professionals that are depending on our advice. What they read and hear may determine what kind of sales professional they become!!! That is a major obligation of this site if it is to be taken seriously! - by The Specialist
Jolly Roger,
You sound like you really care about our great industry. For that I applaud you.
Thank you. I do what I can. ;sm - by Jolly Roger
By the way my name is Chris, not Tom. No big deal but I thought you would like to know. When I first started to read this forum I was shocked by the answers. Very few of the reply's have even a clue about the sales industry. I think it is our obligation to be very careful about how we answer the questions. I also think it is our responsibility to dispute the incorrect information, and most importantly take to task the people that show disrespect to our profession. Let's show these young people the honorable way to approach our industry!

"The Specialist" - by The Specialist
By the way my name is Chris, not Tom. No big deal but I thought you would like to know.
I do want to know. Have you seen those television commercials where the punchline is, "Ever want to get away?" I apologize. :bl - by Jolly Roger
Yes I can!
If you read AZ Broker, responses (No Offense to him) laced through a lot of his responses are a telling tale of his take on sincerity.
Hmmm... and what does that tale tell? - by AZBroker
What I like most about this community is that as I'm learning to be a better salesman I can ask stupid questions or express my naive thoughts without being ridiculed, called an imposter or taken to task. sn; - by Thomas
They are every where. There was one last night talking about not getting out of his car in the cold. Can't the prospect tell the house was small when they drove up? What is that? These people that degrade our industry are imposters! The list goes on.
You might need a hug. ;st - by Marcus
This is the only post I could find that involved AZ Broker and the word "obliging". Is this the post? http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-1707-5.html?highlight=obliging#post15423
In that post it was "Incidentally", not AZ, that said "appear to be helpful and obliging". AZ's reply was "IMO, this close starts off okay but tapers off pretty fast with 4+5+6+7". - by Seth
Chris, some people see a diamond where others see a stone. Where you might interpret something as manipulative another person might see it in a more positive light. Statements like, "When I first started to read this forum I was shocked by the answers. Very few of the reply's have even a clue about the sales industry" look to me like a stone. thmbdn2; - by Frankie
I think most of us here give our honest opinions. If it's an area I don't know anything about, that's how I preface my remarks. What has made me succesful might never work for someone else. It's advice. People are free to filter it , and decide if it's useful.

Susan - by susana
One last comment...I have been reading the answers from a lot of the people in this forum and is offensive the snide remarks that I see in reference to clients. Almost like these people are using trickery to close the deal. You have a choice to make as a sales professional...Manipulate your client into buying, which I see constantly in this forum or motivate your client into buying. "The Specialist" prefers the latter.
When I first started to read this forum I was shocked by the answers. Very few of the reply's have even a clue about the sales industry. I think it is our obligation to be very careful about how we answer the questions. I also think it is our responsibility to dispute the incorrect information, and most importantly take to task the people that show disrespect to our profession.
No Comment. zp;

"The Calvin" - by Calvin
Most salespeople have a very large emotional investment in their beliefs about what works in selling. Many espouse beliefs that don't ever practice. Yet, they will vehemently defend those beliefs.

It is normal for some people who are on the defensive to go over the top with their responses to disagreement or criticism. So, let’s not get into a big row over what is appropriate and who is to blame.
- by JacquesWerth
jacques,
you have made my point exactly! why would someone espouse beliefs that they don't use, consequently having no history of it working, much less go to the trouble of vehemently defending it on such a wonderful site as this that has an influence on so many young aspiring professionals? - by The Specialist
Most salespeople have a very large emotional investment in their beliefs about what works in selling. Many espouse beliefs that don't ever practice. Yet, they will vehemently defend those beliefs.
I think this can be expanded a bit further to include most people not just salespeople. This is done becuase most people make statements that they have not thought out, that often turns into beliefs and permantent attitudes. Why we are taught that our word is our bond when we say something you can count on it.

An experiment was done where a group of people where asked questions where they would deliberately give the wrong answer. The first group was asked to remember that answer. The second group wrote the answer on a magic slate and then immedialtley erased it. The third group wrote down their answers on a piece of paper and handed it in to the researcher. Even though all three groups gave the wrong answer 75% of the third group stuck with that answer because it was written down and could be reproduced. 50% of the people who wrote on the magic slate changed their answer. And most of the first group changed their answer. We as posters on a forum fall into the third that 75% of the time even if we are wrong we will not change are answer and do everything to defend it because our word is our bond.

It is normal for some people who are on the defensive to go over the top with their responses to disagreement or criticism. So, let’s not get into a big row over what is appropriate and who is to blame.
I think you say this because you see disagreements or criticism to be inappropriate, and what about those who came here to learn something. I know when I speak for myself want to learn correct information. And if someone is posting incorrect information I would like for someone who maybe has more experience and knowledge to point that out. I do believe that is why Jeff the administrator created the "User Reputation System"

I believe sales people should develop a harder shell, be able to handle critisim and handle the word "NO" and not take things so personally. If they don't, it is my opinion that they will not be a great sales person in the first place. As long as the critisim is directed at the post, not the individual. After all I am here to learn sales skills not make friends or enimies. (steps down off soapbox) - by Jorel
in part.
"I think you say this because you see disagreements or criticism to be inappropriate, and what about those who came here to learn something. I know when I speak for myself want to learn correct information. And if someone is posting incorrect information I would like for someone who maybe has more experience and knowledge to point that out."
That is an interesting conclusion. However, I never said that I “see disagreements or criticism to be inappropriate.”

if you read my previous posts you will see that I thrive on controversy. I just don't like it to get too vitriolic. - by JacquesWerth
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