Approaching someone else's client

I would like to know what would be the best way to attract or approach someone else's client who has been with that person or company for years without appearing desperate?

There's a competitor whom I think I can outperform with service but their client that I am looking at has been with them for many years.


Loyal clients like this are the hardest to get but the best to have because once you get them and look after them you have them for a long time too.

In my earlier days of selling (I sold raw materials for manufacturing companies) it was often my ploy to approach the company with the idea that they needed a back up supplier. In case anything went wrong with their current supplier they wouldn't want to be stuck with no supplier of a crucial raw material and not being able to manufacture.

That's what you call an away from motivation I was presenting to them.

OK. Let's think about this. The logical question is why has your prospect been with this other company for such a long time ?

You need to know, and there could be more than one reason.

It could be:

  • your competitor gives exceptional service
  • your prospect just does not like change
  • there is a personal relationship between your prospect and competitor
  • maybe a combination of the first two above, i.e. your competitor used to give exceptional service, has slipped a little and the prospect is reluctant to change. (That's one you want to be true)

    You need to do some research to find out the reason why.

    I am guessing making an appointment with this prospect may not be easy. Maybe you need to focus on an away from like I used to, something the prospect would want to avoid.

    "i know Mr Prospect that you have been with our competitor for a long time and that you are loyal to them.

    I also know that it's a truism to say that things are changing rapidly in today's marketplace. Who knows what company could be out of business next or be taken over by someone else.

    In the event that something like that could affect your business with our competitor I'd like to make sure we know what you would be looking for if you had to make a change and make sure that you are aware of our capabilities if you ever had to make that choice. It's the Boy Scout code of "be prepared""

    Now that's off-the-cuff from me I'm sure you could come up with something better if you thought about it for a while.

    During that meeting you want to be seeking out your prospect's criteria for buying, how they make buying decisions and how they process information (their language of motivation)

    All of these will position you to be able to make the sale.

    If you think you need 1-on-1 help, I am available for sales coaching.

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