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5 ways to keep cut-rate competitors from stealing customers

Few things frustrate salespeople more than competitors offering your current clients similar products or services at dramatically reduced prices. Sales coach Colleen Francis (engageselling.com) offers these five steps to close business without taking a huge bath on profits.

Learn from history
Show your salespeople that prospects who only buy on price are not the best customers for your business because, in the long-term, they are not profitable customers.

Don’t add value if your customer won’t value it
Salespeople often make the mistake of piling on extras that the client may not want or need. Your salespeople should be asking questions to determine what, besides price, would keep a customer from going elsewhere with their purchasing dollars. Only then should they set to work to provide them with as many of those value-added elements as possible.

Reward loyalty
Most companies make the mistake of only offering discounts and bonuses to new customers. Create a program that rewards loyalty.

Focus on testimonials
Clients tend to believe other clients more than they believe you. If possible, find customers who already switched for a lower price and then came back to you because their experience with the competitor was less than satisfying.

Do your research
If you’re trying to save a deal, dig a little deeper to find out more about your client’s past, present and future — what their own customers think of them and their reputation in the industry.