How to Beat the Competition in Sales

beatthecompetition

It happens all the time: You find you need to figure out how to beat the competition in sales. You’re getting ready to move a prospect to the final stages of negotiation and they bring up your biggest competitor. Do not freeze. And don’t be too fast to give price concessions. Instead, you need to get creative.

Reframe Your Proposal for Value

Unless your prospect is solely determined to make a purchase based on price, you have an opportunity to beat the competition in sales by focusing on value. If you’re selling to restaurant accounts, your prospect might have mentioned one of their biggest concerns is running out of key ingredients during their busy season. We all know it’s expensive to send a truck out with supplies for one account. But if you can offer that additional service to your prospect at a reasonable price, when your competitor can’t, you’ve reframed the value of your business.

What if your restaurant prospect has talked about how they want to change their menu to attract a wider range of clientele? Maybe you also have access to research that shows changing demographics of consumers in your market. These consumers might want to eat fresh organic produce. When you show your prospect this information, you demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to research their industry and their business challenges. This strategy is likely something your competition hasn’t tried, and that's how to beat the competition in sales.

How to Beat the Competition in Sales With the Challenger Method

In their famous book, The Challenger Sale, Mathew Dixon and Brent Adamson point out that successful sales reps often employ the challenger method. In addition to helping the prospect understand something new about their industry and their business, these sales reps also ‘take charge’ of the sale. When the topic of the competition comes up, you can acknowledge what they offer. There’s no need to bad-​mouth your competitors. Remember, you want prospects to see you as a positive problem solver.

Shift the conversation about the competitor by talking about the ways your solution can help the prospect meet their business goals. If they start buying organic produce through you, they'll be able to build the reputation they want and attract that new clientele they told you about. Remind the prospect of the value they are missing out on by delaying their decision. Sean McPheat suggests looking ahead two to three years in business modeling for the prospects to show them the impact of making wise decisions and using your suggested solutions. With this approach, you’re also showing the prospect you intend to help them solve problems for the long term. That's another way of assuring them that you're offering the solution that will help them build their ROI and their business.

In our recently conducted Voice of the Sales Rep survey, 43% of sales professionals said that creativity is a key factor for success on their team. Take the time to think creatively during the sales process and you'll hear the prospect say yes more frequently

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.