If you’re obsessed about hitting your sales number, when the name of one of your competitors gets mentioned by a sales prospect it’s natural to feel a little defensive inside. Your prospects will be curious about exploring a few providers and you will want to deal with questions about your competition with a calm, cool head. Here’s my advice.
When they ask a question about the competition, be direct in your response
If someone asks you what other providers are in your market, or what providers you get compared to, don’t try to sidestep it. Don’t say there isn’t any whilst pulling a puzzled face, no-ones believes you, and don’t try to point them in the direction of another space in your market, no-one compares buying a Ford with a Porsche. Get straight to the point and be honest.
Compliment your competitors
If you’re nasty about your competitors, you’re not making them look bad, only yourself. If you’ve got competition, then people must be buying from them, which means they have value. What is that value? Why would someone buy from them and not you? When you get asked about why another provider is different lead the answer with a compliment. “AB Media is a really attractive solution if you’re under 25 employees because its pricing model benefits smaller business”. “T&T Solutions are a good choice for people who are looking for a simple product that doesn’t require any internal resource to make it effective” It’s an incredible way to build trust with your prospect.
Recognise if your competitor is a better fit for your prospect than you
Be confident with where you are positioned in your market and don’t be afraid of the value others provide. In fact, if you recognise that a prospect would be better off speaking to a different provider you should tell them that. You’re only going to spend time trying to win something you won’t or loose the client shortly after winning anyway. It’s so important to keep your pipeline clear of opportunities you’ll never sell to, it will only prevent you from winning another deal.
How to sell in your value over the competitors without sounding boastful
If you know your prospect is a great fit for your product you want them to know that, so you need to reinforce why people buy from you over the competition. “Our customers value the rate at which we continue to invest in our product, it takes big leaps forward each year to further support them with their goals”
There are 3 important points here.
1) Always lead with your customers voice never yours ‘our customers value…’never ‘we’re the best at…’. It’s always good to distance yourself from a positive statement and put it in the words of someone else. It sounds less arrogant and more believable.
2) Give them a reason that they will find appealing based on what they value, in the example above, if my prospect had just cancelled a contract with a provider whose product wasn’t evolving, they’re going to appreciate that my clients value the rate at which we innovate.
3). This is the most important bit, you need to imagine they distrust everything you say, how can you back up your point? On the example above you could send a diagram of your product timeline showing when and how it changed over the years, you could put your prospect in touch with a client who really enjoys your innovation and is the first to adopt a new product, you could put them in touch with a member of your product team for a chat about the roadmap and how your company thinks about its development, or maybe you have a client advisory board who are actively involved in product development, you could invite them to join the next meeting. The truth is, whether they take you up on your offer or not, the fact you’ve offered in itself provides an enormous amount of trust in what you’re saying as you are not afraid to back it up
Your biggest competitor is ‘not now’
Whether you’re in a market of 2 competitors or you’re surrounded by them, don’t forget about the hidden competitor, “We’re not doing anything now”. In my experience, I’ve lost more deals to a company doing nothing rather than choosing a competitor. So understand your competition yes, but don’t change the way you behave in fear of them. The best thing you can do is to focus on showing how you can provide the most value to your sales prospect and create the vision as to where they can be in a years time vs where they will be if they don’t do anything because there lie your biggest risk.
I hope this helps