Recently, I was talking to a client about a key sales challenge they’re facing: dislodging long-standing, entrenched competitors who “own” the account.
My client has a better solution. It does a whole lot more for their prospects. Plus, it costs less and is easier to use. You’d think it would be a no-brainer to go with them.
It’s not. In fact, it’s downright tough for them to wrest the business away from that incumbent. In many cases, they get dismissed right away on their initial connection with statements like, “We’re happy with our current provider” or “We’re not planning on making any changes.”
And, if they do get in the game, they consistently lose head-to-head battles. How could that possibly be, especially when they’re better and cheaper?
Here’s the deal:
First off, no one in the company is making a big stink about the incumbent, even though it’s not perfect. They’ve learned its weaknesses and worked around them.
Plus, switching is risky. It’s liable to get people upset because their old ways, their autopilot, isn’t working. Plus, they have learning curves to go through, which are never fun. And, they’re crazy busy. With everything else on their plates, prospects are loathe to take on more.
That’s the incumbent advantage
In U.S. politics, over 90 percent of incumbents get re-elected to the House of Representatives, even if they’re lousy.