Software Sales Tips by Matt Wolach

Sales Tips

Video Tip: How to Handle the Competitor Question

Here’s something that I know is quietly killing deals. Quietly because it’s something that sales reps think is helping them, but it’s actually doing the opposite – it’s causing them to lose trust and eventually lose the deal.

Have you ever gotten the question from a prospect, usually after a long, well executed demo or sales call: “So why are you better than ______ (competitor)?”

I bet you have, and I bet you’ve thought “Oh yes, this is perfect, they’re literally giving me the perfect opportunity to destroy the competition! Once they hear these gems I’ve got saved up about how terrible the other guys are I know they’ll hate them and choose us!”



First of all, if they ask you this – spoiler alert – they liked your pitch! Why would they ask it otherwise? If they weren’t interested in your product they would want off the call. But if they are interested, they need to try and justify to themselves why they should buy from you and not the other systems they’ve considered.

So, if you do decide to destroy the competition and spew all the terrible things about them, you’ll lose all the trust you’ve worked so hard to build up earlier in the call. And trust is a big thing that you need to earn and keep in the sales process and beyond.

Prospects many times have told me they chose my product because the other reps slandered us and our system. It turns prospects off in a major way which means if you do this, you’ll kill your deals.

So what should you do instead?

Well, you were right – by asking this question the prospect is giving you a perfect opportunity. Only the opportunity to to show your expertise and your trustworthiness.

So when they ask this, say “Well I can’t tell you that we are better, but I can tell you the differences between the systems. Would you like to hear them?”

What a surprise!

Wow! What a welcome surprise that will be to your prospect. They thought you would launch into a whole host of issues the other system had, but you shock them by first saying you can’t say you’re better (remember to always position your efforts as finding a fit).

Then you asked them for permission to explain the differences – meaning you’re giving them the feeling of control (even though it’s you in control of the conversation). Of course they’re going to say yes – in their mind it was just a re-framing of the question they asked you.

But psychologically they’ve just given you permission so anything you say is on them.

Even more so – you’ve said there are differences, so not necessarily one is better than the other. That sounds a lot more like education is coming and a lot less like some mud slinging.

Now here’s the best part: you explain about 3 actual differences, but each one your product is actually better. The difference can be that your product has something or does something. And the other doesn’t. It’s not really a difference per se, you’re actually telling them your product is better, but it sounds a lot better and they’ve already given you permission.

Something like: “One difference is that our product can make your life easy by allowing you to automate this thing, whereas the other product can’t do that.”

Bonus points if the things you point out relate directly to the prospects’ pain points – this is another reason discovery is critical

By following this process, you’ll also position yourself as an expert because not only did you know about your product, but you knew about the other product as well. And being an expert in your industry is critical to gaining trust.

So next time they ask this question, remember: “Well I can’t tell you that we are better, but I can tell you the differences between the systems. Would you like to hear them?”

I’ve used it for years and I hope this helps you close more deals too.

For more tips, be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn so you won’t miss anything. Or even better, if you want to see how I can help you and your team close more deals, book a free strategy call with me so we can see if your company qualifies.

Thanks, and go get ‘em.