Okay, before you think that I have gone off the deep end without a breath of air, let me explain this title. Discussing Competitor’s by Name is a No-No is a fact of sales life.
First, it is a mistake for you – the salesperson – to bring up the name of a competitor during discussions with a customer or prospect. Why? Because the customer or prospect may not be aware of this competitor until you tell them.
I had this happen when a competitor begun to openly compare their product to a product that we offered. The customer became interested in the what we had to offer based upon how the salesman positioned us – that the customer called us. After explaining how he found us and why, he listened to our information and we got the sizable sale, rather than the sales person who found the customer first.
Second, when making statements about your product or service and the superior benefits of your solution, you can make generalized statements about competitors. Meaning do not mention their name, only what or how they differ from your offering. Focus on the advantage of your product or service using general statements about “my competitors use…” or “others try to get you to…”
Third, study your competition. Create a matrix showing all your competitors on a grid. Then note or highlight their advantages and disadvantages relative to your offerings. The objective from this exercise is to create statements to counter any reference to a competitor’s claim by the customer.
The skill that is necessary for this action to be success, is to acknowledge the customer’s statement (agree with them – if you want them to listen to your reply), then use a suggestion that “others have found a better way” using your solutions or offers instead. Point out the better way or even better use questions to guide the customer or prospect to the same conclusion.
Finally, does this work 100% of the time? No, yet I have found very few things that are perfect. Yet, the above techniques have a proven success record and the key is to put you in a position to win more often. The important thing to remember – do everything to keep your customer or prospect focused upon your solution. Talking about your competitor as the 800 pound gorilla in the market does little to help you win.
If you are interesting in learning more about B2B sales, contact me at InnerActive Consulting Group in Memphis, TN. Our phone number is 901-757-4434. Ask for Voss Graham.
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