Picture this: you’ve been on a call for 20 minutes and you’ve asked all the right questions. Building rapport with clients is paramount, right? During the call you remember an old boss who said that the prospective client should be talking 70 percent of the time during the discovery phase.
But guess what? Nothing is working. There’s a chance that the fire alarm could go off, and this guy would probably still take the time for a snooze. There’s no energy or interest in the conversation.
Ever been there? Is it time to walk? Not so fast …
Why Discussing Sales Competition is Important
The first time I encountered this type of client, I worked with a seasoned sales pro who taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.
We were both frustrated with the direction of the call. Our notes were empty, as we had nothing to work with. Just when I thought we’d call it a day, my colleague leaned back in his chair and asked, “Who is your toughest competitor?” Voila! It was an energy game changer.
Our prospect leaned forward in his chair and went on a rant about his sales competition! He gave us stories about his daily tribulations trying to compete with an organization that seemed to always be one step ahead with:
- A better product.
- Impeccable service.
- A well-rounded customer-centric value prop.
He went on and on. Finally, we found pain by talking about sales competition.
Customers Have A Choice
While some say you should never talk about sales competition, it’s an important discussion topic. Today, the market, – in every industry – is primarily customer driven.
Real decision makers are always thinking about strategy, tactics, P&L, cash flow, balance sheet, employee morale and long-term vision. However, this is not done in a vacuum. The beauty of capitalism is the customer always has a choice.
Discussing sales competition accomplishes two things:
- It establishes your prospect’s expertise in the broader market.
- It helps you identify why your business solution is the best option.
Sales competition drives innovation and perceived value while lowering costs. Although every business needs to define its target customer, it needs to do so with a complete understanding of the competitive landscape. A discussion around competition always brings energy to the table!
Think of it this way: if you want to get a Chicago Bears fan talking, just say the words Green Bay Packers!
Go ahead, give it a try …