I tend to ask one question to every salesman, are you positioning to replace something or you are addressing a need for your buyer that isn’t served as yet?
I strongly believe that this question has a relevance in terms of how productive can the sales be. The sales and marketing strategies take shape based on which direction one is headed, replacement or addressing a new need. To look at it differently it is always a game of replacement, and that makes selling a tough game by design.
There is a reason for this being a critical point of conversation. And the reason is that the natural human behavior is to do everything possible to avoid loss of any kind. This behavior stems from the fact that the basic instinct that a human mind carries is that of survival. Therefore, behaviorally humans won’t do much when it comes to achieving pleasure of doing something for the first time as compared acting to protect from losses. The theory of resistance to change as well crosses its path with this one human trait.
When you apply these behavioral traits to business scenario, you will see that it is very hard, as thumb rule, to get people to agree to make a change to how they are doing something for some time. That makes the replacement game a difficult one to win. In enterprise sales it is commonly heard that buyers weigh option to buy from larger brands higher than buying from early stage organizations, the reason is the same, they fear their own job with this decision. Perceived risk of losses is higher for the buyer when the price is high and the time commitment is more.
So how to play the game of replacement to win in such cases:
Replacement game requires that you as a seller understand in depth the challenges and benefits of using current means and empathize with the user.
Creating a story that resonates with their challenges and helping them learn how to address some of these challenges can create an opening in their mind to explore a potential alternative
Create a graceful path that retires current means of getting the job done respectfully and with a great level of confidence assertion
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