Jeff Li

Sales

In Field Sales / Service since: 2000

Region: China

Km driven per year: approx. 50,000

Customers visited per year: approx. 300

“That machine over there has actually beaten ours now,” I thought. It was a huge shock. Our machine also lost out in the second round of tests. A customer was having us and his previous regular supplier demonstrate new machines and compete against each other. In terms of both precision and speed, our competitor was initially the clear winner.

The reason why was obvious to me: the test scenarios were tailored 1:1 to the competitor’s systems. I insisted on a third round with neutral test scenarios – and lo and behold, we were faster. But not that much faster, unfortunately. What’s more, the price for our machine was higher. The customer was not very enthusiastic.

During one of the last coffee breaks of the meeting, I plucked up my courage and went straight to the two production managers: “Are we here so you can confirm your current supplier? Or do you want to invest in a better future?” I sensed that I had hit a nerve – and I didn’t let up. I stayed late into the evening, demonstrating the range of possibilities that our machine could offer them. In the end, our machine emerged victorious, and we were awarded the contract.

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