101 Best Sales and marketing Ideas
LET COMPETITION HELP
Most (all?) markets are competitive these days, and it is normal in many businesses for every purchase to be made by buyers in some way weighing up an offering against the competition. There is no way of selling that negates this entirely, although a powerful case may succeed in putting the competition to the back of someone’s mind for a while. So your competition will both linger in the background and come up regularly in conversation. Comments or queries about rival products or services must be handled in the right away, and the idea of not knocking the competition is touched on elsewhere in this volume. Other techniques too can be useful.
From a company selling stationery products….
I have come across this in many contexts, but I remember especially one company from which I bought ring binders, which for some time I used on a regular basis for course materials. This is almost a commodity product, as indeed are many other things: that is many firms make similar things, and perceiving significant difference between them can be difficult. Price and factors such as service and delivery (including emergency supplies) are highly relevant. The idea here is that if your prospect mentions the competition, you should answer very specifically. So in the case of ring binders, a sales person might say, “You’re right, we’ve certainly got plenty of competition, other firms and more. I’ve counted 22 companies I hear mentioned regularly and its surprise to hear of a new one”. Then you could add something about some of the rivals, or about your own company, majoring for instance on service or delivery reliability. (Of course, you will pick points that are most likely to appeal to that particular customer).
The point about this sort of answer, one that even specifies how many competitors you know of, is its extent and precision. The idea is that in such a complex market, buyer will find the idea of checking out the offering in detail daunting. Maybe – if all is going well with your firm – they will not bother to do it, or will do very little cross-checking. The reply is designed to sound open and confident, which can make a good impression, but also to make it seem that further checking would be difficult, and given the arguments you’ve made in any case is unnecessary.
- A realistic and considered view of what you say about competitors is vital.
- If your reflex response is to put down your rivals, the danger is that it will be taken as showing weakness. This makes selling successfully more difficult.