A competitor (in fact, multiple competitors) have resorted to lying to our prospects. As a professional salesperson, I have always tried to take the high road. This last time was different.
Setting the Stage: I get a call from a close friend, who tells me that a competitor of mine sent him an email, which contradicted everything I have told him about what my company does. I asked him to forward it, and he obliged.
I really couldn't believe what I read. Lie after lie, I was dumbfounded. I guess if I saw one or two lies, I could let it slide. What I saw were multiple lie about my company and the services we provide. It was almost as if this other salesperson had no idea what we did, but decided to throw everything out there. He almost had me convinced (not really)
My friend, after reading this said "Some of this must be true, right?". "All of you salespeople spin things in your favor".
REAL SALESPEOPLE rely on the truth. Sure, there are many levels of truth. For example, I may tell someone that the service we provide cannot be duplicated by another company. This statement is somewhat true. Sure, any company can provide the product that you can, but unless you are selling a commodity, each company has a somewhat unique offering. The company that I work for has an extremely unique product offering. Being completely honest and forthright with a prospect is my best tactic. If I lie, the prospect will figure it out eventually.
My response to this email was calculated: I went through the email, line by line. Explaining (with evidence, of course) that each line was more incorrect than the last. I then explained that I would be willing to do a "bakeoff" with the competitor, detailing the differences.
I would love to hear from you, as to how you would handle a situation like this.
How do you respond to your prospects when they report what the competitors are saying about you?
Also, are you now pre-emptive when you walk into meetings, asking what they have heard about your company from the competition?