Any MSP has probably run across something from the competition that looks misleading, questionable, or flat out erroneous. Worst of all you feel helpless to compete against them because educating the customer would take too much time and they most likely won’t be receptive.
Here are things you can do in this situation.
Never Badmouth your Competition as much as you would like to.
It’s just a bad idea to badmouth the competition. You never know the relationship they have and it many times can backfire. Speaking badly about your competition doesn’t paint you in the best light, it probably won’t help your situation, and by trying to say that the competition is misleading or lying, make you appear as if you are using a sales tactic that tries to cast doubt on tyour competition.
You should always look at the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor. It’s easy to research and see what they offer and sometimes calling and appearing to be a future customer is a good way to research them. There’s usually testimonials on their website for people you can call for reference and get information as well. You should then look at your own offerings and get an understanding where you’re strong and what things you can offer or change you make your offering stronger.
Develop a Winning Theme
Know where your stronger and sell them on those points.
Listen first and see what the points are that your prospective customer cares about. The more you let them talk the more information they will share with you. Offer to do a free network analysis or your own discovery. Be more proactive in finding things the competition didn’t research or question. Make the prospective client realize you are putting in a real effort to understand their needs. Reinforce their concern that you learning in your quote, proposal and presentation. Whenever you meet with them reinforce that your proposal is what you “Highly Recommend” and that you’re team is the best fit for the job, regardless of what the competition is saying.
Play to Your Strengths
Once you do that, you’ll be able to play to your strengths, highlight those areas where you’re differentiated, and get in front of any areas where you may have a weaker solution. You want to reframe the conversation if you know that there’s an area that you need to tread lightly or maybe the competition actually is stronger.
For example, if one of the things you’re hearing is that your solution is much more expensive than the competition, try to reframe that conversation around total cost of ownership. In other words, sure, maybe your solution is a little bit more expensive to purchase today, but over the course of three to five years, when you factor in training, and support, and warranty, and all the other factors that come into play, your solution may become a much better option for the business than just a lower up-front cost.
Address Issues with Proof
The third component is to pre-emptively address any issues that you think may come up or that maybe they’ve misled the customer about by providing proof. If you know that there’s a misleading fact or statement made, if you can bring a case study or research, or a third-party report, that’s really going to help your case and potentially dissuade any concerns about those false accusations.
Third-party sources are great because they carry additional legitimacy, so if you can bring in a customer testimonial, maybe a third-party research report, or a white paper, that can go a long way to really address and nullify any of those concerns that may have come up from a false claim.
5 Take the High Road
The final component is to take the high road. Going back to the first point, you don’t want to badmouth the competition, you don’t want to get into “he said, or she said,” or your report versus their report. What you want to do is really take the high road and say, “You know, I understand you have different options.” “There are other solutions available. Here’s why I think we’re a great fit, why we’re a good long-term partner, and why we’re the best solution for the situation you presented.”
Sell them on your values, your integrity and then your company’s fit with their business. By doing that, I think you can rise above any false claims, accusations, or lies the competition may be making and really differentiate yourself, your company, and your solution in front of the customer.