|Don't Tell Them They Are Wrong.|
Many of these arguments are focused on the product and its most prominent features, others are focused on customers and their needs.
However, there are arguments which seem to me particularly special and are those focusing on competitors.
And I do say “special” not because they are actually good but precisely, in my opinion, quite the opposite: they’re the worst way to start a conversation with a prospect whom you hope to convince about buying your products or services.
I'm not good because I am good, but because my competitors suck.
Many times I have heard salespeople tell prospective customers things like "you paid too much money for that product," "your security system is useless", "your website design is rubbish" and so forth.
Anyone can be better than a bad product. Always compare yourself with the best one or one better than you.
And although at first glance it might look interesting to highlight for your prospect the shortcomings of other people’s work or competing products, it turns to be quite a poor sales strategy mainly for the following reasons:
- It shows your strength depends on others’ weaknesses: It shouldn’t be necessary to compare your own product with the lower-quality ones to show how good yours can be. It should be the other way around: that your product (or services) are able to beat the best performers in the industry.
- It forces you to explain why you consider competition sucks: and that has always seem to me the less professional thing a sales guy can do. Investing your time (and your client’s) to criticize competitors is quite wasteful.
- It creates a negative ambiance for your sales presentation: Maybe if you are fond of gossiping along the hall and stuff like that, this situation will not bother you, but criticism (when it’s not constructive) generates negative energies all around it, and that's the least thing you want to emerge during your sales presentation.
Think for a moment about the kind of image you’re creating on your prospect while you devote your time to criticizing competitors. What kind of image do you think it’ll be? Is that the kind of impact you want to generate? Is it good for your ultimate goal, which is closing the deal?
Nobody likes to be told they make bad decisions.
Whatever the product your prospect has already purchased or the services he contracted, when the decision to buy was made, you must assume he was perfectly (or nearly perfectly) sure it was the right thing to do.
That is, at that time, your “I-want-this-person-to-be-my-customer” reviewed all the information available and, based on its own criteria (whether such criteria is the best one or not), made the decision to buy the product in question or hire a particular supplier.
Want to abruptly end a conversation? Suggest your client he doesn’t know how to make good decisions.
By trying to show him that what he bought or hire, doesn't work, it’s bad, doesn’t sell or it’s simply worthless, is a clear and rude way to tell him his decision, and the whole process surrounding it, was wrong and with that, my dear entrepreneur, you’ll have won a slam in your face and a goodbye.
Value others the same way you’d like to be valued.
Properly valuing the work of others creates good energy, and that’s something your future customers will appreciate. Valuing what others do also allows you to create a more professional image of yourself, and that your client will also appreciate.
A sales presentation focused on positive stuff, always adding value, highlighting the reasons why your product or proposal will efficiently and sufficiently solve your customer’s needs will always be a more positive one.
Always value other people’s works and products, so that your own stuff is valued the same way.
Also, if the product your prospective customer bought is really that bad, he will soon realize that because it’ll become evident to the naked eye and it’ll be enough for you to say something like, "Can you see the difference?" to invite him make the whole comparison.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you make a sales presentation.
Focus your conversation on your customer’s needs and how your product (or your services) can fulfill them and, when you feel the need to refer to what your customer has already bought, make sure you always do it constructively and avoid unnecessary criticism.
Besides, and after all, there are no perfect products. Or are there?
Photo credit: christianchan | View Portfolio
I recommend you reading the following post on this blog
Rookie Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make In Sales