You’re calling on a prospect. You’ve got all kinds of ideas to help make them richer/smarter/safer/better. But before you begin, you’re cut off. “Not interested,” the prospect says. “We’re happy with our current solution.”

But what does that “happy” mean? Is it:

  • Ecstatic happy, as in “We’ve searched far and wide and found the best possible supplier in the world, and we simply couldn’t imagine giving our business to anyone else” or
  • Political happy, as in “Our vendor is the owner’s son-in-law and I’m not. When I need more trouble in my life, I’ll be sure to give you a call” or
  • Ain’t-broke happy, as in “Our vendor is good enough, nobody’s complaining, and I don’t have the time or energy to explore alternatives.”

I suspect that darn few prospects are ecstatic-happy. Most are really telling you: “Okay, maybe I’m not perfectly happy. But change is hard … and time consuming … and extremely risky.”

That means you, dear seller, are Trouble with a capital T. You represent a threat to the status quo. No wonder that prospect wants to get you off the phone so fast.

So what can you do? Are you really locked out?

Of course not. “Happy” buyers switch all the time. And there’s an effective strategy you can use to pry them loose from their current supplier. You can’t win just by being better than what the buyer has now. You have to make switching easy, quick and risk free.

Often salespeople pay too much attention to the “better” side of the equation and not enough to the “Trouble” side when they’re trying to get a buyer to switch. And that can actually make things worse. Because “better” means “different.” Different means change. And change means — all together now — Trouble.

So this is one time when you don’t want to stand out from the competition. Yes, you do have to be better. There must be a compelling reason to change. But you also want to show how much you’re the SAME as their current solution.

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