How to Answer: "Why Are You Better than Your Competition?"
We’ve all been there…
You spent a good deal of time with a customer.
You've answered the questions and told everything you know about a product. You’re confident about the sale until your prospect brings forth the most confronting of questions:
“OK, but why would I choose for you? Why are you better than your competition?"
Your jaw drops to the floor, panic locks your stomach in a tight squeeze and you mumble a standard sales reply. Only to see your prospect scared off by your insecure response.
Convincing visitors about a certain product is a tough job. Many people won’t understand the product's value or certain of its features. They get angry and frustrated trying to decide.
And yet building up a case for your business specifically is an even harder challenge. For the customer the difficulty of deciding for a product stems from the complexity of product and number of suppliers in the market.
So unless you have a monopoly, and most likely you don't, your customers are faced with a tremendously difficult choice.
Many customers don't care too much about getting the perfect product and simply roll with the first one that feels right. But there is a big group of picky customers that will want to make sure they are making the best choice. These are the people that will ask you: "Of all the suppliers out there, why would I choose you?", or "What are you doing better than X?", etc.
However, the supplier that this customers finally chooses is not typically the optimal solution. No, it's the supplier that answered this question clearly.
The fault made by most people is that they answer the question by providing more information. That's wrong, you need to help customers pick you. You need to simplify their choice.
There’s no greater sales opportunity than a prospect asking you about the value you provide. Their question indicates that they're seriously considering your solution. They’ve done a thorough research and believe your product is relevant. And now they revealed their final sales objection – fear of buying from you.
Your prospects are afraid. They wonder what is going to happen if the product disappoints. Will you support them then? Or will you leave them high and dry to deal with the trouble?
Overcoming your prospects’ fears is the fastest way to make the sale.
Here are 5 steps that'll help you achieve it.
1Learn your value proposition
To put it simply, a value proposition (VP) tells your customers how you provide value in a way that nobody else does.
But, a value proposition is not the same as a tagline. Even though you may be using it to describe what you sell, a tagline does not convey your key difference in the marketplace.
It’s neither a list of your product's features nor its key benefit.
It's a promise.
Lance Jones of Copyhackers defines it as “an explicit promise of value to the reader about whatever you’re selling – a promise of something amazing, hopefully. It should quickly separate you from your competition.”
So first define, learn and understand your company’s promise.
2Compliment the user on her choice
A customer asking what makes you different than a competitor reveals not only an intention to buy, he also reveals the final choice of alternatives.
It may seem natural to jump right in and trash talk any other solutions they named. After all, you want a customer to believe that your product is better, right?
But in doing so you will alienate him.
First, it’s unprofessional and not gentlemanlike behaviour which few prospect will appreciate.
But also, you indirectly criticise the customer.
For most products, picking the right solution is an overwhelming task. Customers need to select a product they know very little about it. And the last thing they want to hear is that they’ve picked poorly.
Therefore, compliment them on their choice instead.Make them feel comfortable about their selection. Put them at ease and they’ll have a much more positive attitude towards you. Set yourself apart as the knowledgeable gentleman.
3State your value proposition
With a prospect on your side, it’s time you reveal the very thing that makes you different – your value proposition.
State what makes you different and what promise your company makes to every prospect and customer.
For LessAccounting for instance, that promise is to provide accounting software so easy to use that you’ll enjoy it even if you hate bookkeeping.
Shopify promises to offer every solution you’d need to sell products online from anywhere. Unbounce however offers the quickest way to execute marketing ideas without anyone's help.
4Match your product to their needs
The role of your value proposition was to intrigue the prospect. But it’s often not enough to convince them to buy your product. You now need to show them how it’s ideal to solve their specific business needs.
Ask them questions about how they’re planning on using the solution. Are there any specific features they’re looking for?
Remember to lead the conversation
If a prospect isn’t sure about what they’re looking for, make suggestions based on typical product usage, i.e.:
“Most of our customers use feature X or Y”.
It will help you direct the conversation to highlight your product’s strongest points.
5Capture the Lead
Regardless of all this work you might not be able to convince a prospect to take action straight away.
That however doesn’t mean you lost the sale. It may just mean that you’ve encountered a methodical buyer and will need to do more work to win him or her over.
Methodical buyers form the largest customer group in the society (approx. 40-45%). They are comparative by nature and need convincing to realise that a product is the best. They also thoroughly research any product they intend to buy and will compare it with competition before making a decision.
Your last step therefore is to find a way to keep them engaged with your company.
- Suggest scheduling a quick walk through of your product.
- Offer to send more documents to further explain the difference between your and the competitor’s offerings.
- Invite a prospect to your upcoming webinar.
- Suggest signing up for your newsletter.
- Or simply, recommend a follow up call. Offer to contact them in a day or two to see if they’ve made a decision.
Your sales team can then take over and work on getting the sale.
And if they do, it will be largely due to the work you did overcoming the prospect's fear of buying.