To set an effective sales trap, often the sales rep replies on the sales engineer to do so, and the sales engineer believes that is the responsibility of the rep…So sadly enough, the net result is that no one plants any effective traps. Now, I am not talking about Mud Slinging (although that has it’s place only in very specific situations), I am referring setting effective sales traps.
I will call out one of the more successful traps that I have used numerous times with high success. This is only one of many effective methods, but it is the simplest to implement without many steps. The process is very easy, yet elegant and is delivered in a discreet way. When delivered correctly, your prospect will feel that you have genuine interest in their needs first and at the same time you are laying down your trap framework.
Here it goes:
Assumption: Your company is first to demo over your competition. The approach is different when your company is responding to traps set by your competiton who have already demo’ed
Step 1: When you have a significant competitive feature that trumps your competition, as a sales engineer you can Set The Landscape for the trap…This must be done in a POSITIVE 3rd perspective for the need for the feature. For example, Gartner/Forrester/IDS say that by 2011 the need for feature x will have grown by 200%.
Step 2: Next, compliment your competitor on how they have chosen to implement this feature…Yes, I did say COMPLIMENT, BUT spin it with a comment, something like Vendor A has a pretty good Feature X for certain situations, but there approach varies from our we architected ours…
Step 3: Now, list our why your company has selected their approach to how they designed that feature which is unique AND more relevant to prospects key business requirements and business pains
Step 4: This is where the call-to-action for the TRAP comes into play…Proactively invite them to do further research on it, perhaps suggest they reach out to the other vendors they are considering to bring it up as a point of discussion.
This easy to apply sales tactic for setting traps is highly effective when you have the delivery down pat. The genuine interest in looking out for the prospects best interest is paramount, as it will help to solidify you role as a trusted advisor in their solution making process…Good luck!