In our industry, like many other industries, the company with 20 percent of the market share is typically the market leader. So that means that 80 percent are not buying from even the leading company. That sounds like an opportunity to me.
The challenge is that every percentage point over 20 is much more difficult to attain. The higher the penetration in the market, the harder it is to grow. Why is that?
Here are a few reasons why I believe people don’t buy from us – or you:
- They’re loyal to their current vendor.
In most cases, they’re happy with their current vendor. What I used to do in this situation is ask the question, “If something changes with your primary provider, could we be your second option?” They almost always said “yes.” With their permission, I could then move forward with further cultivating the relationship. My goal was to position our company as first in line if the opportunity presented itself.
- They’ve never been called on.
This happens often. Rule No. 1 in sales is you actually have to make contact to initiate a relationship. As CEO, I still make new business development calls, and they’re often the organizations where we have little or no business. So if you want to increase market share, you obviously have to add new customers. And the only way that’s going to happen is to develop a consistent strategy to effectively contact new prospects.
- They don’t feel the fit.
People buy from people they like and not everyone is going to like you. If you have a strong market share and make the call, perceptions may stand in the way of getting the sale. Sometimes, they may feel like you’re too big, too small or too something and believe they are not your ideal customer. So, they opt themselves out. Sometimes you need to help them opt back in by overcoming their misconceptions.
- They really don’t fit.
You don’t want to work with everyone. It’s important you understand your target market. There is a segment of the market that doesn’t fit, and you shouldn’t pursue it. We can’t be all things to all people and need to be mindful of our ideal customer profile. At Marco, we’ve established our ideal customer profile for each of our solution segments. This helps our sales people spend their time with the right prospects.
- They don’t have an immediate need.
We know the best time to call a prospect is before they have a need so you can position yourself for the opportunity when the time is right. Even though they may not have an immediate need, engaging with the customer will keep you top of mind. For example, at Marco we host educational seminars, get them to interact with us through social media, publish blogs and eBooks and continue to make personal contact. The key here is to consistently provide relevant information that will position you as a resource when the time comes for them to make a purchasing decision.
- They don’t have the money.
You can have the right solution and provide the best service, but if the prospect doesn’t have money, it doesn’t matter. If an organization doesn’t have capital or access to credit lines, they’re probably not a good prospect. Spend your time on better opportunities.
As a sales guy, of course I want everyone to buy from us. But I also realize that not everyone is going to be our customer. Understanding the reasons why they aren’t can help us overcome the objections and focus our efforts on where we’ll get the best results. You only have so much time – use it wisely.