Sales objection: "Similar product is cheaper in your competitor"
With the 18th century's industrialization movement, agriculture and craftsmanship-based economy are slowly replaced by a machine production-based system. Finding customers in this period with more demand than supply was never challenging. In those days that did not have marketing and competition and did not need salesforce, customers were forced to purchase what the market offered. This period was, "you purchase what I produce." Henry Ford's expression, "the customer can choose any color they want as long as it is black" for the single black-colored "T model" manufactured between 1908 and 1927, is a good and typical example that reflects the sales approach of that period. Fordist production philosophy that assumed the market was unlimited and the demand will expand without any limits was the necessity of this mass production period.
But now it is gone.
In that period, the dominant sales approach was passive sales towards the applying customer. This system can be referred to as taking orders rather than sales. It did not last for long. 1929 Great Depression in North America and Europe lead the global trade to decrease by 65%.
But this tremendous economic crisis taught something significant to the world. The important thing was to sell what you produce rather than production.
The production initiated with the Industrial Revolution and transformed into a modern state and the fast information circulation that comes with it caused a tremendous increase in functionally and aesthetically equivalent products. Now, almost the exact product manufactured by a producer on one side of the world can be manufactured by another product in a short time and with more advanced alternatives. Similar methods and techniques are used around the world in terms of production. When the products and services are identical, the consumer is left with nothing but price as a different property. Productization is one of the most significant problems of today's global market and, therefore, the need for a sales organization. Productization tends to bring together price competition, and price competition tends to decrease the operational costs continuously. If the operating costs cannot be reduced fast and sufficient enough compared to other competitor suppliers, they are forced to decrease profitability. When the profits are decreased, businesses are forced to sell more products. More product sales mean more customers; more customers bring more operational and collection risks. In short, lowering the costs and the prices is not a sustainable commercial method.
Well, what are you going to do?
Finding innovative products to offer the market, branding, and opening to international markets are critical elements for differentiating commercial life. But unfortunately, this is not as easy as it is thought. Even though the business gains a significant market share after innovative discoveries, their products are imitated by competitors and become ordinary.
Productization is bogged down with unattractive products and low price competition. This is a cycle. Every product completes a natural lifecycle, becomes ordinary, and then dies. Unfortunately, it is not possible to prevent that.
But the only possible thing and the only thing we can prevent is to hire good employees and retain these employees. The most significant competitive advantage and capital of the businesses are their employees. The products could be copied and become ordinary, but humans will never be duplicated or become ordinary. The companies that primarily realize this value will always achieve the things they want one step ahead of their competitors.
By considering what is written here, the main objections that are heard from the customer related to the product that the seller is trying to sell in such a competitive market in today's world would possibly be "the same product is cheaper in X firm."
If the customers were not objecting, we would be selling them beautifully. When the customer says "no," we are at a loss, and we would think, "Oh no, I put all my efforts, but the sales are about to go away," and we abandoned. This is the classical seller attitude, and one of the scariest things among the sellers is the customers' pose.
The objections emerge when the customer does not want to purchase under the conditions presented at that moment or when the customer wants to postpone the purchasing—the unsatisfied needs regarding being more informed or feeling secured lies in the basis for this attitude.
It is necessary to see the objections as the opportunities for sales rather than the barriers in front of the sales and perceive them as the product of real attention. The objections mean that the potential buyer is interested in the product, and eliminating the buyer's doubts will make you one step closer to sales. It is important to remember that there are no sales when there is no objection. Sales start when the customer says "no" and "no" is right.
Customers might not want to purchase by showing various reasons, or they might postpone the purchasing. But most of the asserted reasons are only excuses. Just like a customer saying, "the same product is cheaper in x firm." In fact, the non-purchasing reasons expressed by the customers have very few "real objection" reasons.
Identifying the real and underlying reasons for objection beyond what is said is of top priority and essential. The seller's experience and observations will help the seller differentiate between the excuses and real objections.
The best method to confront objections is to eliminate all the objection alternatives right initially and take all the precautions before opposition. Your primary purpose should be to provide consistent explanations to all problems you might feel your customer has and extinguish these problems before objections sparks occur.
Since the best way to confront objections is to take the precautions before facing them, then we need to remember "the same product is cheaper in X firm" objection, which is the most significant objection that might come in today's productized market before visiting a customer.
For this purpose:
1- The companies do the invoicing, but the humans complete the sales.
First, the only thing you need to do is identify the problems, longings, and needs of people and sincerely help them achieve these requirements. You will see that you will complete the sales already. First, a seller is a problem-solver. By doing that, the seller will gain trust because the seller does not show a sales-oriented approach above all else and takes the customer's armor out. They now have become two people with common interests or ordinary people they know and moving on the same line instead of two strangers who just walked through the door. Sales is an action from a person to another person, and basically, sales are based on the skill of forming, developing, and sustaining mutual relationships. Individuals with the same occupations are like the members of a club. It is like being the same team's fans, having the same hobbies, coming from the same region, graduating from the same university, and being occupied with similar activities. Because this transforms you into "us." You need to support one of the sides. A person will trust the most to another person on the same as s/he.
The companies do the invoicing, but the humans complete the sales. Become a friend with your customers above all else. People choose to shop from friends when the circumstances are equal, at the very least.
2- Know yourself and your competitors.
Start by getting to know your company and then competitive company, brand, and products. Determine your strengths and weaknesses and compare them with your competitors. These comparisons will lead you to some benchmarking. This action will help you develop action plans related to seeing your gaps, complete these gaps, or benefit from your advantages if you have any.
Additionally, as a qualified seller, you must know your product with all the details. Knowing all the properties and details of the products will give you self-confidence above all else. With your dominance over the product and self-confidence, you will gain a reputation in the eyes of your customers. Additionally, since your answers to technical and contra questions in the presentations will reveal your know-how, you will become a consultant in the eyes of your customer rather than an ordinary seller. Knowing all the technical details about your products does not mean you are sufficiently equipped. You know and closely follow the competitive products, brands, and companies in your sector.
3- Prepare your alternative products.
If you catch different products that you plan to present before your customer visit, compare the related products with your competitors in the market in terms of parameters such as quality, price, packing, distribution channels, term, and customer perception. The competitive business's behavior models and their current economic status will prevent you from a significant benchmark as general influencers. Knowing these before your customer visit will make you stronger when you make your presentation.
4- Is your product equivalent to the competitor's product?
Does the product presented with the competitor's product really have equivalent products? Sometimes products that look similar have variables that might lead to significant price differences, and buyers might not often realize this difference, especially for technical products. Is the towel made from fabric? Yes, the towel is made from the material. But do they have the same weight per sqm or width? Is the cotton + polyester mix in the fabric the same? Guide your customers with questions that might reveal these types of differences. Try to make them compare apples with apples and realize the differences. You can review the prices after learning what do differences are.
5- Price never means everything.
Besides the seller's influence, free training, maintenance, or installation service, the premium from annual general purchasing quota, free test or demo, installment options, and other arguments similar to these can present more valuable alternatives to your customer overcome the price. Remember that price never means everything.
6- Never discredit the competitor company, products, or employees.
Never discredit the competitor company, products, or employees. This is a generally accepted rule. This will always turn back to your negatively, like a boomerang. You are a professional seller with your personality, characters, professional attitude, intellectual knowledge, knowledge about your product and competitor's product, and behaviors that want to help customers.
It is important to remember this; no matter what you do, no matter how many precautions you take, the customers will always find a reason to object to various topics. The customers will always compare your products and/or services with your competitors. Their purpose is to hector around you and force you to concede by showing that you are not their only alternative. It would be best if you were afraid of the customer who says yes to everything you tell. The customers that never objects and wants to complete the purchasing by accepting everything can have two purposes. The customer is either forced to purchase the product from a monopoly supplier that today is a rare occasion, or the customer will not complete the payment.