It’s not uncommon for a prospect to ask you how you feel about a competitor. However, this can certainly be an uncomfortable situation if you have not thought about how to tactfully address the competition. The key to thwarting competitors when prospects ask is ‘preparation’. Know what you are going to say ahead of time and consider how you will address follow up questions.
Below are 3 ways that you can thoughtfully address their questions and concerns without compromising your brand’s positive reputation:
Acknowledge that the competitor may work for some brands, and reinforce why your company is a better fit. It’s impossible to badmouth the competition without reflecting badly on your own company. So why not kill them with kindness? Telling a prospect that your major competitor has no merit in the market will not only appear dishonest but desperate. Instead, acknowledge that your competitor is a good fit for certain brands and play on your company’s strengths to show how you are different.
This is the ideal opportunity to reiterate to the prospect of why your company is the best fit for them. Consider their needs and where your company is able to meet those needs. Rather than saying something like, “Company X does not offer the individual attention that a brand of your size needs,” try, “A lot of larger companies have seen results with Company X, but our team has the resources that smaller brands like yours need to accomplish their goals.”
Point to concerns about competition while playing on the strengths of your brand. One of the best ways to end the conversation about a competitor is to redirect the discussion to talk about your company’s strengths. When a prospect tells you that they are considering a competing company, this is a good time to point out any concerns that your prospect should have about going with the competition.
You can do this by saying, “I understand why you might be thinking about Company X, but have you considered that…” Then address the concern they should have. After you have done this, it is time to bring the conversation back to your company and its strengths. Communicate how your company eliminates this concern and why it is the better fit.
Communicate the limitations of your competitor and how your company better meets the prospect’s needs. Competitors are not necessarily just the brands that you often come up against in deals. Sometimes prospective customers will try to compare companies that may not even be on your radar as a competitor due to their limited capabilities or the fact that they provide solutions that are more complimentary than they are comparable.
When this happens, explain to the prospect that your company does not often compete with the brand they are considering and then address why. Explain how the competitor does not have the same capabilities as your brand. You already know the prospect’s needs and the competitor’s limits, so use this information to logically walk them through the flaws in the competitor’s solution. Then explain why your company’s solution is more effective and a better fit.