Thursday, May 26, 2016

How Do You Talk About Your Competitors?

Did our Mother ever say that to you?  I heard it a lot.  I think it is a generational thing.  I don't seem to hear it as frequently anymore.  Even Thumper was wise enough to understand this.

Often while talking with customers and prospects we are told what our competitors say about us.  Do you realize that when you talk smack about another company it only reflects poorly on you?

Yesterday I was travelling back from a trade show in Las Vegas.   Las Vegas, of course, is a trade show mecca.  There were at least 3 shows going on in the conference center we were at and many others going on around the city at other venues.

As I was on the train to get to our gate, I noticed 3 people from a local company that were at a show.  We had customers at that show so I asked them how the show went?  I really was just curious about the show itself and looking for some feedback.  We started chatting a bit and of course they asked what I did for a living.   I told them we were a local (to them) trade show exhibit house and that we sold trade show booths, flooring and other related items.

The owner asked where our offices were and said, "Ok, give us your pitch, why should we buy from you?"  My first answer to that question is always very simple, "You get me".  Now before you think that is an incredibly conceited answer, I always expound on that to explain.  We are a small business, the owners are engaged in every aspect of the business and that we are a very high service business.  It always gets a laugh and builds some immediate rapport.

Of course, being the die hard sales person, I then had to ask, "What do you have for a trade show exhibit?".  They had just purchased one from a local competitor.  I explained that I knew that competitor well, that they were good people and in good hands with them.  I simply explained the difference between our two organizations and told them I was sure they would be very happy with their product.  They were thankful to hear that the partner they had chosen was a good company.

We chatted a bit further about non business things.  As we walked to our gate the owner started saying that they may need another booth for the times when shows were doubled up and he asked for my card.   We got to the gate, they were going to get a bite to eat and invited me to join them.

Don't forget that if you speak negatively of a competitor, the only reputation and brand that it hurts is your own and your company's.

We will see.  Do you think they will buy from us?  I do.

Be Genuine, Be Kind, Be Honest.

Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at lori@totaldisplays.com. She is an open networker, connect with her on LinkedIn here.
Read other Total Displays Blog posts at http://totaldisplays.blogspot.com/

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