Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
My Competitor Has a Better Product > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

My Competitor Has a Better Product

The topic of this issue's article is a response to a question submitted by one of my newsletter readers.

QUESTION - "At the moment, my competitor's have a far better product/deal, due to circumstances out of my control. However, customers go to the competitor and then come to me to compare. How do I go about convincing the customer that our service/product is better even though on paper it isn't???"

ANSWER - Thanks for the question. I'm going to answer this to the extent that I can without knowing what it is that you or your competitor sell.

I believe that this is a common experience for many of us in sales. Customers use us for free for all kinds of freebies - information, demos, test drive's, consulting, etc. Sure, it is good to give away something free to expose people to your offering (my newsletter is an example of this).

This has gone way too far however, and it's our fault in the sales profession. We have been bludgeoned into thinking that we must do whatever it is that the customer asks of us. That we should jump through hoops like trick dogs, if that gets us just a little bit closer to *possibly* getting a sale.

Freebies should be used as a marketing tool. The purpose of freebies is to generate a lead. And that's where the free giveaways should end. Once you have the lead, and are able to engage the customer in live conversation, the marketing ends and the selling begins.

Successful selling is an exchange of value for value. It has always been this way since people traded grains and cloth for chickens and pigs. Today as sales professionals we are "representing" a company and its products. This is why we are called "sales representatives". We act as the agent, representing our company in the trade, representing our company in the exchange of value for value.

As sales reps, we offer significant value to our prospective customers. Yes our products have value, but I am not talking about that. The value that we offer is our knowledge and our time. We know a lot about our products, about our industry, about future trends in our marketplace, about our competition, and many other things.

We sell our products every day. Our customers (most of them at least) do not buy these products every day. So our knowledge has value. If you don't believe this to be true, then you either need to think about this a little more, or you work in an industry that is about to get disintermediated by ecommerce.

So what should you do?

Respect your value as a salesperson.

Get commitments from your prospects.

Get a commitment - Qualify them first for pains/wants, budget, and decision capability, Then before presenting details about your product. Get a commitment to make a definitive decision upon completion of your presentation or the proof step of your sales cycle. For this to work, you must have asked really good questions to elicit the important pains/wants that are driving the sale. You must know that they have the money to buy it. And you must be presenting to the decision-maker.

You only have so much time in a day, so use it well. If you chase every deal that comes your way, you are losing real sales that you could have gone out and looked for.

Break any of these rules, and you are simply rolling the dice. (Yeah I know, this works for some people - but you'll never make it really big in sales winging it this way).

Notice that what I outlined above is the reverse order of the way many salespeople have learned to sell. The key thing that I am telling you to do here, is to present AFTER you have qualified the prospect and AFTER you have a commitment to make a decision.

If you have a long sales cycles involving multiple levels of decision-making, you can use this same approach. Instead of getting a commitment for a decision up-front, you can get a commitment to be taken to the appropriate next step. That could be a meeting with a higher-level decision-maker, or it could be earning the right to give a presentation to a more influential audience. I call this "chaining commitments".

This is the best solution. By getting commitments, you will stop wasting time with the people who aren't serious about you. By asking good questions up-front (a topic for another newsletter), you may uncover something that your competitor missed, giving you a chance to change the rules of the sale set early on by your competitor's getting there first.

If your product isn't better, I don't believe that you can persuade or convince someone that it is. Most people aren't stupid. They will figure out eventually that you are trying to pull one over on them, if they don't figure that out while you are actually trying to do it to them.

Lastly, even with the most competitive products, the number two product usually has some advantages over the number one product. Determine these advantages, and focus your selling efforts on the prospects who want such benefits. Create questions designed to uncover the pains/wants that would cause someone to want such benefits. Follow the process above of questions and commitments first, presentations last, and you'll find yourself making money even when you aren't selling for the number one company.

© 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.

Shamus Brown is a Professional Sales Coach and former high-tech sales pro who began his career selling for IBM. Shamus has written more than 50 articles on selling and is the creator of the popular Persuasive Selling Skills CD Audio Program. You can read more of Shamus Brown's sales tips at and you can learn more about his persuasive sales skills training at

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

Wall Street Journal

Honeywell Increases Sales Guidance Despite Posting Lower Profit
Wall Street Journal
Net sales at the New Jersey-based Honeywell rose 8.3% to $10.92 billion in the second quarter from the year-ago period. Honeywell reported sales increases in all of its segments—aerospace, home and building technologies, performance materials and ...

and more »

Washington Post

Sales of Essure birth control implant to be halted by Bayer; U.S. last ...
Washington Post
Pharmaceutical giant Bayer said Friday that it will halt sales of its controversial Essure birth-control device in the United States at the end of the year, bringing to ...
Bayer says it will stop US sales of birth control device
Bayer Says It Will Halt Sales of Essure Birth-Control ImplantFortune
Bayer to stop sales of birth control device tied to injuriesABC News
all 78 news articles »

Publishers Weekly

Unit Sales Slump in Mid-July
Publishers Weekly
With print-unit sales falling in all four major categories, total sales in the week ended July 15, 2018, were down 5% compared to the similar week in 2017, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The largest decline came in juvenile fiction, where ...


What Technical Founders Need to Know About Sales and Marketing
It took a number of years -- with the help of hard-earned lessons from experience, some books, webinars and conferences -- to finally learn the non-technical keys to success. But, now that I have, here's how you other technical founders should approach ...

Fashionista (blog)

Make a Splash With These 89 Online Sales
Fashionista (blog)
We honestly deserve a one-way ticket to Bermuda for making it to Friday, but we'll settle for any refreshing body of water and some retail therapy. So (swim)suit up and treat yourself to the 89 online sales below. Happy hunting! 3x1: Up to 70% off ...

Microsoft Hits Record High as Cloud Sales Drive Q4 Earnings Blowout
Those gains were powered by a staggering 93% increase in sales for its flagship Azure clouding computing business, and solid growth for its productivity and business processes unit, which includes its Office 365 suite, where sales rose 13.1% to $9.67 ...
Microsoft's cloud bet pushes annual sales over $100 billionCNNMoney
Microsoft Sales Top Estimates With More Clients Signing Up for CloudBloomberg
Microsoft Cloud Services Drive June-Quarter Sales, Earnings BeatInvestor's Business Daily
all 392 news articles »


Canada's Economy Strengthens as CPI, Retail Sales Beat Forecasts
The reports, a reverse of last month's weather-related disappointment in sales and inflation data, will bolster expectations for continued interest rate increases this year from the Bank of Canada. The retail sales report in particular, which indicates ...
Economy shows resilience as inflation reaches 2.5 per cent and retail sales growCTV News

all 47 news articles »

Digital Trends

Huawei is gaining on Apple as it aims for 200 million smartphone sales in 2018
Digital Trends
Feel as if you've seen more Huawei and Honor smartphones in the wild than ever before? That might not just be the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon — Huawei's global sales are rising, and the Chinese company is slowly gaining on Apple to become the ...

and more »


Fortnite passes $1 billion in in-game sales
CNBC's Julia Boorstin reports the Epic Games' Fortnite surpassing its milestone in in-game sales. Watch CNBC Live TV. You May Like. ‹ › Latest Video. ‹ 01:09. The Look Ahead: July 20, 2018. 01:09 | 4 Hrs Ago. News Update - The Look Ahead · 01:39.

Discovery Rediscovers Itself With New Ad Sales Structure
Discovery has reorganized its ad sales teams into three new selling bundles, the company said Thursday. In March, the 35-year-old company acquired longtime competitor Scripps Networks Interactive for $14.6 billion. With HGTV, Food Network ...

and more »
Google News

Selling ? Remember These Ten Rules and Succeed

There are thousands of books and seminars on how to... Read More

The Email Blow-Off

This week's article is my response to a question by... Read More

6 Creative Questions To Move From HOW Are You To WHO Are You

Imagine you just met someone new. The formalities of names,... Read More

Before You Sell Do The Math

This is an important and potentially profitable piece of advice.... Read More

Aikido and The Art of Cold Calling

Imagine being in a crowded concert or bar. All of... Read More

Sales Training from the Ghostbusters

Picture this scene from the 1984 smash comedy movie from... Read More

Telling the Value Story

You arrived on time and completed your calculations. You worked... Read More

Its Better When They Tell Them

You know that word of mouth can grow your business.... Read More

Challenge Yourself!!! Evaluate Your Selling Skills!

This evaluation is not for the "weak-kneed". Real questions to... Read More

What Are Car Boot Sales?

If you live in England then you will already be... Read More


Freebees--Freebees--FreebeesWHY PAY, WHEN "YOU CAN HAVE IT FOR FREE?"There are... Read More

Writing Effective Sales Messages

A sales letter is a document designed to generate sales.... Read More

Your Ad -- Who Cares?

Junk mail. We all get it. And it goes straight... Read More

Packaging Maketh the Person

The multi million pound cosmetics industry is acutely aware of... Read More

How to Generate Leads on the Internet

In the last decade, the Internet has become a major... Read More

Selling - Trade Shows Vs. Regular Sales Calls

Remember those school exercises that started "Compare and contrast....yada yada... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Sell your Product or Service While you Sleep - Part 1

Have you wasted valuable time and money on promotion that... Read More

How To Set Goals and Achieve Them

We use only 5% of God's given potential, 95% of... Read More

6 Steps on How to Install Confidence Into Your Clients

What methods can we use to install confidence into your... Read More

Is Sales Profession an Oxymoron?

If you are in Sales, you have probably heard these... Read More

Create A Killer Product by Writing Your Sales Letter First!

You may not realize this, but when if you are... Read More

Why People Use Long Sales Copy

Have you ever wondered why some people use long sales... Read More

If I Wanted To Sell For A Living, I Would Of Majored In It In College

By a show of hands, how many of you grew... Read More

Expert Qualities in Sales

If you went to see your doctor, and he mentioned... Read More

Clear Up Blurry Communication

One of the top brewing companies in America is a... Read More