The "Do's" and "Don'ts" of Dislodging a Competitor
By Bill Brooks, CEO, The Brooks Group
You have a huge account you want to win... but
one of your competitors is already serving the
account. Dislodging your competitor is going to be a
long-term, strategic process that requires
persistence, patience, and more than a little
creativity. And, once you win the account, you'll
have to work hard to retain it... eventually,
someone is going to try to dislodge YOU, too.
If you really want to win an account away from your
competitor, you can. Let's take a look at some
strategies that can help you get these hard-to-win
accounts and keep them.
First, the "don'ts":
1. Don't disparage or badmouth your competition—Not
only does it reflect poorly on you, but also it's an
insult to your prospect. By badmouthing your
competitor, you're questioning your prospect's
judgment, implying that they made a bad choice in
selecting your competitor's products or services.
2. Don't try to buy the account with low
pricing—This tactic will only create the expectation
of more concessions and price-cutting from you in
the future, and if you do win the account solely
because you offer the lowest price, you'll be
vulnerable to any other discounter who comes along
and offers a better deal.
3. Don't give your product/service away to create
demand—You can't create a demand without building
value. Giving your product away sends the message
that it doesn't have value, and it positions you
poorly with the prospect from the outset.
4. Don't try to convince your prospect that having a
single supplier is bad business. By that logic, your
competitor shouldn't choose you as a sole supplier
Now, the "do's":
1. Determine specifically why your prospect is
buying from your competitor. It's almost never
solely price. Is it service, delivery, compatibility
of equipment, loyalty, or something else? Study it,
and be able to do it better.
2. Continue to develop regular, ongoing
opportunities for you to have a physical and
psychological presence in the account. Send
meaningful, relevant updates on products, progress,
or new services you provide. Find valid reasons to
"walk the halls."
3. Position yourself as a top-notch, unflappable
professional who provides only high quality service
and products. Be the person your prospect can trust
to implement meaningful solutions quickly, adeptly,
and with little loss of time or productivity.
4. Become a student of your competition. Learn your
competitor's product benefits and how they sell and
retain accounts. Then develop a strategy that helps
YOU do what they do, but do it even better.
5. When studying your competition, do your best to
determine their vulnerability. Is it slow service?
Inconvenient technical support hours? Pricing
inconsistency? Billing problems? If you discover the
current supplier has vulnerabilities, find out who's
affected by them in your prospect's organization.
The person who's frustrated with the current
supplier will be most likely to champion your cause.
6. Position yourself as a real, true industry
expert. Be the one whom others "in the know" rely on
for advice. Word gets around—and will likely find
its way to your prospect as well. Be available to
provide valuable insight, knowledge, and assistance.
Make yourself an important resource to their
---Source: SalesVantage.com Sales
Strategies articles. Bill Brooks is one of the
world's premiere resources for sales and business
leadership. He is also the CEO and Founder of The
Brooks Group (www.brooksgroup.com).