101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas
GET THE COMPETITION INTO THE DISCUSSION
It is axiomatic that decrying the competition is not a good idea. If you say to a customer that company X is rubbish, it always turns out that the person deal with them, like them, or their brother-in-law works for them. Rather than giving you sound defensive, arrogant, or just plain spiteful. None are attractive characteristics, or likely to help create rapport or a good relationship. But dealing with the question of the competition may be unavoidable in a conversation.
From many a different industry…
If a customer brings a competitor into conversation, especially if they ask your opinion of it – “How do you compare with X?” –the best tactic may be to praise your rival. Indeed it may well work best to lay it on with a trowel: “From what I hear the company has good reputation, makes excellent products, and always seems to deliver on time”. Such a statement may well prompt a response that pulls back a bit. “We’ve done some business with them, and they’re fine”, your customer might be reply, “but I wouldn’t go that far. We did have one delivery problems.” This has brought you into a conversation that helps you position the customer’s relationship with competitions and attitude to them, and this should make what comes next easier. Even if the customer agree with you, the exchange might be useful. At the least, it might help you decide such a relationship is impossible to challenge, and save you time as you simply go on to another prospect.
As a secondary tactic, just asking can cast doubt. Say “What do you think of their service?” You’re not knocking your rival, but it sounds just a little as if you know it isn’t perfect. The reply might help you identify chinks in the relationship that you can use to strengthen your own case.
- Certainly this is an area in which to take care. Your instinct may be to rubbish the competition (especially if you know you can make a stronger case), but it’s wiser to take a more considered approach.