This week we're looking at a sales objection I am sure all CSPs encounter regularly. While it seems like a very simple objection, handling it can be quite complex. This objection can get you shut down early in the sales process if you’re not prepared to handle it with grace. 

Which objection am I speaking of? This is the one: "Oh, we already have that!"

If you're encountering this regularly right after you deliver your introductory or elevator pitch, go back to the drawing board and change your approach. Your opening needs to focus on outcomes, not a specific solution: "We help law firms use technology to increase the amount of revenue each lawyer generates monthly." The natural next question after that introduction would be, "How?"

So, if your opener still led you to this objection, your first task is to identify whether or not they actually do already have that. Keep your line of questioning curious and conversational. Resist the urge to ask what they are using, as that can often lead to unintentional (or worse, intentional) bad-mouthing of their current provider. First, acknowledge that you have heard what they are saying.  "Yes, of course! Most businesses are already using something for this." Next, ask some simple questions about the solution they are using. (Don’t ask permission to ask questions, just lead with the questions.)

  • What do they like best about it? (Will allow you to focus on similar features later in conversation.)
  • How many people are using it? (Qualify this opportunity before engaging further.)
  • When did they purchase it? (If it’s quite old, you know it’s not the same solution.)
  • What would they change about it? (Can you solve any of these problems?)

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Now that you have a little more information, you should be able to side-by-side compare your solution and theirs, and you should know if they are comparing you to a solution that does in fact offer many of the features and benefits you offer, or a solution that they only perceive to be the same as yours. Now, ask a few more questions to keep the conversation going:

  • "You mentioned you have 20 users currently — how many users will you have next year?"
  • "You said you really like that your system does X, but you don’t like how it does Y. If you had to pick a new system today, do you think you would you pick one that did X better, or totally changed how it did Y?"
  • "You’ve been using this system for a long time. When was the last time you looked at a competitive solution?"

Then, ask for a meeting to demonstrate how your solution can potentially help a company that is growing, or a company that is experiencing some challenges with their current solution, or a company that is using an out-of-date solution.

How do you overcome this simple sales objection? How often do potential customers use this objection during your sales calls?