Solve a problem, Sale would happen
Quite often I come across a request that a particular industrial lubricant is required because a customer is using an aerosol spray or a high-temperature grease of our competitor. Many times if the alternative is known, the request is for a specific product name or else a general request to offer any MOSIL product.
How often does one try to analyse this request with his own individual behaviour? e.g. You are used to going to a particular restaurant or used to buy a particular brand of toothpaste or going to a specific petrol pump for fueling your car. Do you think you would go to a different restaurant or buy any other brand of toothpaste or change your petrol pump just because there is someone else who also wants your business? Would you make a decision to change only because someone out there has put your name in his target list and expects to get your business by the Grace of God?
I’m sure you may not change unless you have sufficient reasons to change.
Now come back to our situation. When you as an individual would not make a decision to change even for (seemingly) a small matter (for which you have formed a habit), Why do you expect an industrial lubricants buyer to make that big decision in your favour just like that? I do not convey here that the change cannot happen. It would if there is sufficient reason.
What could be those sufficient reasons ???
Usually, there are these 3 reasons
1. Commercial (Direct or Indirect; Direct – Customer gets the price benefit / Indirect – User or Decision maker gets some benefits)
2. Operational (Lead Time, Min Quantity, Pack size-related etc.)
3. Technical (Better Performance, Solving a particular problem, Enhancing the quality of the customer’s product)
It may come as a shock to many of us but “We have very good relations” is never a reason for a customer to change. (Many times we may not be aware of the actual reason and conveniently assume good relations for a reason customer has shifted). At times good relations may be necessary to lead you to deeper customer insights and help you expedite the process of identifying the compelling reason for the customer to change but definitely it’s not sufficient enough for that big change decision. It is extremely important for us to know the reason why a customer will shift and then position our product accordingly. Once we have positioned our product properly and have addressed customers concern it is very easy for him to make that difficult decision of changing the brand. However, a failure to address the above concerns may lead to extremely long conversion cycle and in many cases, the conversion does not happen wasting many hours of efforts, energy and finances.