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In Sales, How do I Talk about my Competitor Without Sounding Like a Jerk!

December 15, 2023 (1y ago)

Talking about your competitor is a delicate balancing act that requires tact, respect, and a focus on your own strengths rather than their weaknesses. Here's a few tips from Maple:

Two runners competing in a race

1. Stay Positive and Respectful

  • Focus on Your Strengths: Rather than criticizing your competitor, emphasize your own strengths. Highlight what makes your product, service, or approach unique and valuable. This keeps the conversation positive and centered on what you offer.

  • Acknowledge Their Merits: It's okay to recognize that your competitor has strengths. This demonstrates confidence in your own offerings and shows that you're fair-minded. For instance, you might say, "While [Competitor] is known for [X], we focus on [Y], which we believe is crucial for our customers."

2. Use Factual Comparisons

  • Objective Data: When drawing comparisons, stick to objective, verifiable facts. This could be in the form of statistics, awards, or certifications. For example, "Our product has a 95 per cent satisfaction rate, compared to the industry average."

  • Avoid Personal Attacks: Never make personal comments about individuals from the competitor's company. Keep your comparisons focused on the products or services.

3. Understand Your Audience

  • Tailor Your Message: Your communication should be tailored to the interests and needs of your audience. Understand what they value and how your offerings align with those values.

  • Listen First: Sometimes, the best way to talk about a competitor is first to listen to what the other person thinks about them. This can guide your response to be more relevant and respectful.

4. Emphasize Customer-Centricity

  • Talk About Solutions, Not Competitors: Shift the focus to how your product or service solves specific problems or improves the customer's experience.

  • Customer Testimonials: Share stories or testimonials from customers who chose your product over the competitor’s and why they did so.

5. Maintain Professional Integrity

  • Avoid Overstatements: Be honest and avoid exaggerating your product's capabilities or downplaying the competitor's. Misleading statements can backfire and damage your credibility.

  • Confidentiality and Ethics: Respect any confidential information you might have about your competitors. Sharing insider information not only makes you sound unprofessional but also raises ethical concerns.

6. Continuous Improvement

  • Learn from Competitors: Acknowledge that you can learn from your competitors. This mindset shows that you are focused on continuous improvement and are secure in your position in the market.

7. Stay Informed

  • Know Your Competitors: Keep informed about your competitors’ offerings. This allows you to make accurate comparisons and respond to queries effectively.

Approaching the topic of competitors with a mindset of respect, factual representation, and a focus on your own strengths fosters a positive image for your brand and maintains professionalism. It demonstrates confidence, integrity, and a customer-centric approach, which are key qualities in any competitive industry.