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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  October 26, 2017

How to Neutralize Your Competitors

How to neutralize your competition and win the sale

I help a lot of my clients implement their new brand by strategizing sales conversations. A common question they ask: “What do I do when a prospect says, ‘We’re talking with Billy Bob (a close competitor) about this, as well?’”

First, we do a happy dance because we know who the competition is. Next, you follow my favorite two-step process to neutralize competition without sounding disrespectful.

  1. Acknowledge the person’s background and approach. If you know the other contender, link them to an approach or background. For example, “Oh, yeah, he used to be the exec for XXX.” Or, “Yep, he wrote that book.” The key message here: You want the prospect to understand that know the competitor and their work. This sets up the next step.
  2. Point out the impact of the differences. For example: “Yep, Billy Bob is great in these situations. But your situation is different in these ways. In your situation, XXX is needed.” (And XXX happens to be in your sweet spot.) Prospects understand the difference in approach. They don’t understand the impact of those differences to them.

In a perfect world, we would all be sole source providers. But when there’s money on the line, you better believe there is competition. When you take the high road and focus on the impact of the differences, you create new criteria for selections. Then the buyer can make the best decision.


Listen: How to Learn More About Your Competition


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.