When you cut away the layers selling against competition, comes down to one core concept – Sell The Difference.
Can you say what’s special about your company, your product or service? What does your organisation do that makes you proud to work there? What can you offer the customer that your competitors can’t?
Research by the Eureka Institute tells us that sales with a low differentiator have a 14% likelihood of closing, those with a high differentiator a 53% likelihood. So it’s three times more likely that you will win the business if you have a strong differentiator.
In addition to ‘sell the difference’ there are five rules taught on LDL sales programmes. Keep these in mind next time you’re face to face with a prospective customer or client.
5 Rules For Selling In A Competitive Situation:
Wherever possible, never mention your competitors by name. This is free advertising and it simply raises the customer’s confidence in your competition. Many salespeople make this mistake, so be careful. By all means talk about the competition, but not by name. Instead, refer to them as ‘other’ companies or ‘other’ suppliers.
Wherever possible, don’t talk about your competitors at all. Just because you’re in a competitive market, don’t always assume that you are up against competition. If you ask your customer if they are seeing anyone else, they might think they should. Instead, in order to test whether or not you are up against competition, ask: ‘Have you done anything about this so far?’ or ‘How far have you got with this?’ or ‘What plans have you got for solving this situation?’
If you must talk about them, don’t say ‘our competitors’ or ‘the competition’ or ‘compare us with’. All these phrases simply add credibility to the strength of your so-called competition.
If someone asks you who your competitors are – a perfectly reasonable question for an intelligent executive to ask – be positive and a touch humorous and answer: ‘I don’t know, we haven’t got any. There are a number of other companies in the same business as us. There are even some who have products with a similar name, but that’s where the similarity ends because . . .’ And then accentuate the difference, sell the difference.
Don’t knock your competitors. Knocking is unprofessional and amateurish. It also breaks the basic rule of business -what you hand out, you get back. However, nor should you get too carried away with praise. Remember the rule – pay the highest compliment to the least likely contender!
Praise will also work well against competition should they choose to speak badly of you. And remember that no knocking doesn’t necessarily mean not pointing out their weaknesses or drawbacks. It means not saying nasty, unpleasant things about them: don’t criticise their products, services or staff and don’t condemn what they do.
Concentrate on your strengths. Make sure your customer knows why you think your product or service is better and what that means. Don’t be overly concerned about what you can’t do, instead concentrate on what you can do. Sell your strengths.
Learn more about LDL sales courses.