3 Ways You SHOULD Handle Questions About Competitors
No business, no matter how small, or how isolated, operates in a complete vacuum.
You have competitors out there, even if you haven’t identified them yet.
And, make no mistake, your customers are aware of those competitors, even if you aren’t, or if you choose to ignore them.
At some point, you’ll have customers ask about competitor products or services.
How do you answer those questions?
Don’t Use Negative Language
When questions about your competitor’s products or services crop up, your first instinct might be to bash them in order to make your own look better.
Don’t do that.
In fact, don’t use any negative language.
The focus needs to be on what you offer, not on what your competition offers.
So, change the conversation.
There’s also the fact that talking about your competitor or their product/service negatively can make it seem like you’re defensive.
In your customer’s mind, that means your competitor is a threat, and they might actually have an edge on you.
Focus On What You Do Best
Again, rather than discussing the competitor’s product or service, focus on your own.
Explain how your product differs and focus on key functionality of features that aren’t available with your competitor’s offering.
“Yes, they do offer X, but our Y product can help you do A, B and C,” is an example of how you can change the conversation and steer things back to safer ground.
If your customers are asking you about your competition, you should actually feel flattered.
It means that you’re heading in the right direction.
The fact that they have noticed your product/service in an already cluttered market means that you stand out to them.
Find out why that is, and then build a conversation around it, which will highlight why your product is a better option without denigrating what the competition offers.
Focus On Why They’re There
Your customer is asking YOU about a competitor’s product or service.
They came to you – they didn’t go to the competitor.
There’s a reason for that.
Find out why. Often, this can be turned into an advantage.
It might be something as simple (and powerful) as an existing personal connection between you and the customer.
It could be that they have a preference for your offering because of brand loyalty, or something else.
Dig in and find out why they came to you.
Of course, you can’t do that by just coming out and asking.
Use leading questions to pinpoint the customer’s problem or challenge, and then talk about how your product is able to solve that issue.
If your customers are asking about your competitor’s product or service, don’t be disheartened.
It doesn’t mean that you’re losing market share, or that they have something that’s hands-down better than what you offer.
This is an opportunity to win a customer over, to enhance your brand recognition and show why you’re the better choice (without denigrating your competitor, of course).
The Retail Sales Academy Team