“What do you think of Company XYZ?” your prospect asks. What do you say? Do you tell them about the company’s flaws? Do you tell them about their product’s weaknesses? I sincerely hope you have avoided these temptations that many salespeople have fallen into… But if not, let today’s article be a turning point for you! Here are three reasons why you should NEVER speak badly about competitors:
Why You Should NEVER Speak Badly About Competitors #1: It Screams of Insecurity
When talking badly about someone else, it reflects poorly on the perpetrator. A person with high self-esteem doesn’t need to put others down to make themselves look good because they know they are good! How highly do you think of yourself, your company, and your product?
Why You Should NEVER Speak Badly About Competitors #2: It Magnifies Bias
Buyers expect salespeople to be biased. You wouldn’t be doing your job if you weren’t highlighting all the wonderful aspects of your product. Putting down the competition brings this bias to a whole new level. Nowadays buyers want trusted advisors, not product pushers. Being an advisor means being able to demonstrate some level of impartiality by not recommending your product to those it wouldn’t benefit. How well are you positioning yourself as a consultative advisor?
Why You Should NEVER Speak Badly About Competitors #3: It reeks of self-interest
Giving blatantly biased advice stinks of self-interest. You can’t possibly have the client’s best interests at heart if you can’t help them make an informed decision. This tactic will lead to a lack of trust, which is a key prerequisite for making a sale. How selfless and trustworthy are you?
The Alternative: Be Informed & Speak Well of Them
My advice is to know your competitors and their products well enough to differentiate them. No business is ever 100% better than its competitors, but they can be many times better in one particular area. For example, there are many better sales trainers than me out there, but I am different to them because I specialise in helping people with little to no sales background. In business terms, this is my “unique value proposition.” What is your product differentiation? Do you have faster response times, or higher quality that leads to longer product life?
When talking about the competition, compliment them! Only people with high self-esteem can do this comfortably, and so it will reflect well on you when you do. Furthermore, if the prospect currently patronises your competition you don’t want them to look like they made a foolish buying decision. You might say “Company XYZ is an excellent company. They have huge market share and a very loyal following. That said, here is where we are different, and why it matters for your situation…”
It takes a great deal of integrity to withhold negative comments about our competitors. The alternative is to compliment them and focus on our unique value proposition. It will reflect well on you and increase your chances of securing the sale. What will you say about your competitors next time you’re asked?
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