Last week, I was talking with a sales rep who sells high tech internet services to small businesses. He was telling me about how he responded to questions prospects would ask about The Competition. He said, “You know, Babette, when they ask me this question, I look them straight in the eyes and tell them, ‘Our company has no competition.’”
Well, at least his company had done a great job convincing this rep that he has no competition out there. Unfortunately, his sales track record is saying something else to his quota-driven, numbers-hungry sales manager.
When you present your case as though you have no competition, this makes the sales conversation all about you, doesn’t it? How unique/superior/fast/efficient/timely/cost-effective/high-quality/advanced, you-name-it, that your products and services are supposed to be.
Seriously. If your customers and prospects aren’t already skeptical about your motives, telling them you and your company are beyond competitive comparison will pretty much kill your credibility.
There’s always something competing against you. Competing with your products and services.
- No matter how much your prospects need your deliverables.
- No matter how affordable and easy it is to implement your offerings.
- No matter how superior your pricing is.
You’re competing with their status quo. Against the way they are comfortable doing things. With the fact that it’s far simpler to make no decision than to introduce a new factor into their corporate equation.
The status quo is your biggest competitor. It breeds doubt, distrust, insecurity, risk. And it makes your clients unavailable, disinterested, anxious, and stoic.
And you thought it was all about you, and how great your products and services are. And, for all I know, your products and services just might be everything you are strutting your stuff about.
If you haven’t taken the time to understand the history and the context into which you are strutting your stuff, you might as well keep your tail feathers folded down.
Because, no one’s listening. And they sure aren’t looking.
What does the status quo look like in each company you are prospecting or currently working with? That’s your competition.
It was never about you and how great your products and services are. It’s about your customers. And how working with you can make their companies, their products and their services great.
It’s about how working with you creates that synergy that allows them to strut their stuff in their marketplace.
That’s your action item for this week. So stop preening.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools. You can download the first chapter here.