You can always tell the size of the man by the size of the things that upset him.
~J. B. Harris, Jr.
The competition who?
The competition that knocks you!
Have you ever been in a sales situation where you discover that the competition has been saying unprofessional things about you, your company? How about fear mongering? What about out and out lies? How did you handle it? Do you call it gorilla tactics like me to incite humour into what appears to be a desperate time calling for desperate measures?
Unfortunately, it happens far too often. You are just about to sign a new customer and out of the blue, a bunch of questions are hurled at you. You sense it is greater than buyer’s remorse and there is an underlying issue at hand. Do you keep calm, and respond by saying: “Ms. Customer, I appreciate these questions and will do my best to handle them one by one. However, I am curious as to what really may be bothering you?” That’s when it unfolds that your competitor, sensing a loss, is bringing out all the artillery.
Most customers are intelligent enough to recognize when a competitor is being underhanded and trashing you in a last ditch attempt to save their own sale. Most will appreciate when you take the high road. Experience dictates that when competitors start trashing you, it sends alarm bells ringing to your customers. If you start scrambling and going on the defensive, similarly raises red flags.
When faced with a competitor throwing garbage out at you, stay calm in front of the customer. Always take the high road and avoid getting tangled up in their web. Going on the defensive in front of your customer only acknowledges that there may be a grain of truth somewhere in the allegations.
The biggest underlying cause of this type of behaviour is called complacency. The competitor was caught off guard, perhaps not as attentive with the customer, kept up with ongoing changes in its business or with the decision maker. One should never take their customers for granted. Treat them as your best customer every day, all the time. That way, when gorilla tactics come into play, the customer will immediately see it for what it is, shoddy fear mongering. It is their reaction to you being a threat.
The next time a competitor starts waging war. Shrug it off, pat yourself on the back! You are doing a GREAT job .... they have every reason to feel worried. You won’t stoop to their level now will you?
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.