Written by Sean McPheat |
16 February, 2011
Many questions we get asked here at MTD revolve around selling against the competition. If prospects mention they are talking to other suppliers, how should you handle it? What’s the best way to approach the subject without it sounding apologetic or obviously downgrading their capabilities?
The best way is to define how the competition are good, but only in specific areas that wouldn’t be of any use to your prospect. If the prospect were in different circumstances, maybe the competitor would be right, but not in the situation they are currently facing.
And of course, your prospect doesn’t face those conditions.
Now, this means you have to do your homework and know what the competition is doing. Get onto Google Alerts to give yourself the updates you need before your clients get to hear about it. Learn what the competition is doing to counteract your offerings. Be aware of what specials they are working on. Only by doing these things will you be able to use this technique with your clients and prospects.
Try these ideas:
1) Discuss how the market has changed recently, especially in the prospect’s industry, and how the competitor may have been up-to-date until a year or two ago, but now they are languishing behind your product’s abilities to match the prospect’s needs
2) If technology, innovation and economic realities have revolutionised the way that you and your clients do business, make sure you emphasise how your products and services are way ahead of your competitors in ways that add value to what your prospect can offer their customers
3) By identifying changes that have actually happened, you convince your prospect that times have changed and you are fitter and smarter to help them in the future. Remember, they probably chose your competitor at that time because it was right for them at that time. Because this is a different era, you can convince them that a decision made months or years ago was right then, but the decision now needs to be (must be) different. You can congratulate them on seeking out different suppliers because it is the right thing to do now that massive changes have happened in the market place.
Ideas like these help your prospect see that they are making a good decision in seeking out changes to their current supplier base. That’s the first step to laying the foundation for change with your prospects if they are using or thinking of using your competitors.
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