On my Facebook page, I recently posted the following:
“Speaking respectfully about your competitor to your prospect shows you are confident, you are successful, you are safe.”
While most respondents agreed and provided some excellent examples, one young business person, Michael, wrote with a challenging question:
“What if you know for a fact your competitor is a scammer; hurting people and ripping them off?”
Michael, while thankfully this is not often the case, sometimes it is. Thus, you’ve asked an excellent and very legitimate question. For the sake of this post, let’s assume you have in fact accurately described this person. Well, it’s tricky.
Let me run a couple of scenarios past you. For example, if your prospect has already talked to your scammer competitor (and they like him or her) how do you feel it will come across if you say, “oh, that person is a scam artist and if you’re not careful they’ll rip you off big-time!” It will probably only cause them to feel stronger about the other person and suspicious about you.
That’s just one example. And, even if they haven’t ever spoken with the rip-off competitor and you volunteer that info about him or her, they might become suspicious of them, but most likely they’ll have less trust for you, as well.
The only thing you can really do in this case (in my opinion) is to advise people to be sure and really get to know the people from whom they buy, and suggest they ask for a list of testimonial endorsements from satisfied customers (of course, you should always have plenty of those on-hand yourself).
Typically, though, Michael, it’s one of those things that — unless you want to take on a personal campaign to expose the person — at risk to your own reputation, as well — you still can’t go speaking disrespectfully about them. 99.9 percent of the time, you’ll be the one who looks bad…not them.
The very best thing you can do is conduct your business with such high integrity and “knock-your-socks-off” service and value that you earn the bulk of the market share.
Well, my awesome blog family, please share your thoughts on this. And, feel free to point out where I’m wrong and/or could have provided Michael with a more helpful response.