When Your Customer Buys From The Competition

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Businessman with unhappy faceYou’ll have faced the situation many times, where your prospect actually uses a competitor product and you know you have a better one. How do you handle it?

It’s tempting to jump in and extol the virtues of your product and services, so the prospect knows what they’re missing by making that big mistake of not buying from you.

However, it will only serve two purposes: they will be forced to justify their decision made in the past, and you will come across as pushy, unprofessional and desperate.

How would you feel if someone criticised a decision you had made some time back? You’d probably become defensive or lose rapport with the other person. Either way, it doesn’t endear you to them very much, does it?

So, what’s the best way to handle it?

Saying something like, “That’s a good product”, or “That’s a good company you’re using” will be unexpected and keeps rapport.

Next, ask what made them make the decision back then. The emphasis should be on the past, as circumstances and their business situation may well have changed since they made that decision.

“What made you choose to use Company X back then?” or “What was the situation when you decided on Product Y?”

It makes the prospect link the decision with some time ago, and helps them identify how business might have changed since they bought it.

When they have those thoughts, it creates dissonance between where they were then and where they are now, and that should open up the opportunity for you to highlight differences in expected results and outcomes today compared with back then.

That will make your offering appear more up-to-date than the products or services you confirmed were right for the prospect in the past.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 15 December, 2010

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