Are you allowing your competitors to define you and what you sell?
I’m not a big one to spend an overt amount of time worrying about the competition, but I do get concerned when I hear from salespeople about this… their concern is what their competitor is saying about them.
The best defense is a good offense.
If a competitor is spreading rumors about you, don’t think for a moment you’re going to win by suddenly spreading rumors about them. In my book, that is not sales leadership.
If a competitor is saying things about you that are not true, that means they’re worried about you — or they believe your customer base is vulnerable.
Let me respond to both of these.
First, if the rumors are seen as being done because they’re afraid you have a competitive edge, then go for it and drive it home. Just don’t drive it home by bashing the competition. Instead, drive it home by going all in by talking to your customers about your position in the marketplace.
It’s perfectly fine to puff your chest out and be proud. Just don’t do it by comparisons to the competition, but rather by showing the customer how your products or service will help them in a superior way. Let the results the customer will achieve be the talking point.
If the competition is spreading rumors because they see you as being vulnerable, then it’s time to be as visible as possible. You might be vulnerable due to a loss of business or a downsizing, but don’t allow that to stand in the way of you getting in front of customers.
Your limited size may limit the number of face-to-face visits you can make, but that only means you need to step up your use of email and the telephone. With whatever means you use, allow your sales leadership to come through by being even more focused on the customer and the outcomes they’re looking to achieve.
Whatever the situation, don’t think for a moment you’re going to stop it by attacking the competitor. If you do, you’re jumping in the mud with them.
Sales leadership is all about setting the tone and being a leader. Attacking the competition isn’t going to win you any friends among your customers.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
Nicely done, Mark! One thing I’ve learned through the years is that the customer sometimes loves to stir the pot by telling you something a competitor has said about you. Many times they will tend to embellish what the competitor actually said.
I always ask the customer if he or she really believes what the competitor supposedly said. Most of the time they will smile and say no.
Just part of doing business, especially with retail people.