Play Nice: How to Communicate About Competitors

Customers are listening when you badmouth your competition...

Business is sometimes cut-throat and always competitive. When the pressure is on, one can be seduced into trying to create an advantage over another shop by pointing out what someone else does badly. Customers, on the other hand, tend to view such negative comments as self-serving and disrespectful.

When a prospect asks how you compare to a competitor, try this approach instead of badmouthing:

  • Avoid using any competitor’s name verbatim. Instead, refer to your rival as a nameless entity, like “they” or “others.” Likewise, don’t go out of your way to accentuate the other guy’s exclusive features or competitive edge.
  • Make the case that something you, your company, or your product does well is markedly different, unique, and essential to satisfying the customer in front of you better than anyone else. Provide independent studies or customer testimonials about the thing that sets you apart from others.
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Vince DiCecco

Your Personal Business Trainer

Vince is a dynamic seminar speaker and author with a unique perspective on business development and management subjects, primarily in the decorated- and promotional-apparel industries. With 20+ years of experience in sales, marketing and training, he is an independent consultant to businesses looking to profit and sharpen their competitive edge.

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