Most salespeople have been correctly taught never to speak ill of their competition. Doing so will only make the salesperson himself or herself look bad. Unfortunately (in my opinion), most salespeople have been taught not to say anything good about their competition, either. I disagree with this counsel and have found just the opposite to be true in my selling career.
Whenever I’m speaking with a prospect and they bring up my competitor, I go out of my way to say something nice about him or her. Why? Because I’m a nice guy? No, not at all (although I do hope I’m also a nice guy) J. The reason is that by complimenting my competitor, I’m actually building myself in the mind of my prospect. If your prospect brings up the name of your competitor and you speak highly of them, what does that tell your prospect about you?
#1 You are Confident: You must have a lot of confidence to, not only not speak ill, but actually speak highly of this person.
#2 You are Successful: If you are confident, you also must be successful. After all, unsuccessful people don’t have that type of confidence in themselves.
#3 You are Safe: “Wow”, thinks your prospect (correctly, I might add), “If he/she speaks that well of their competition, I never have to worry about negative things being said about me or any of my staff.”
Obviously, if you know for sure that your competitor is a thief, you can’t lie and speak well of them. But, that aside, if you can possibly say something nice about him or her, do so. It will only reflect well on you.