Sometimes it is important to advertise the competition. As it is pretty common for most of us to have a little bit of a fear of our competitors. It has happened all too often that they come over and eat our lunch – we lose customers to them, and as long as we keep on losing customers to them, we will lose our business as well.
In spite of that, it is easy to forget that they are probably just as afraid of us as we are of them, while we are just as afraid of them. The fact of the matter is that we offer a better product, have better relationships with our customers, and are generally nice people as a whole. Why don’t we tell our customers right up front that this is what we are doing?
There is nothing wrong with telling people what our competitors have to offer, after all, it’s hardly a state secret that they have something to offer something that is often counterproductive because people feel sorry for the underdog, but there is nothing wrong with telling people what they have to offer as well because it’s hardly a secret that they offer.
Here’s the idea
Judy Kearney was the director of sales and marketing at Holiday Inn at the time when the hotel chain lost a large corporate client to a rival hotel chain during her tenure at the company. He tried to persuade the lost customer, but to no avail – the new chain had a good reputation, and the lost customer was satisfied.
In reality, the decision-makers were not the people who stayed in hotels, but rather salespeople, engineers, and executives who were on business trips who were the ones who made the decisions. After Kearney asked the respondents if they were satisfied with the new hotel chain that had been launched, he found that they preferred Holiday Inn.
He suggested to the management of the company that they survey their staff themselves in order to determine whether or not they were happy with their jobs. A survey was carried out by the company management, and to their surprise, the results showed that employees preferred Holiday Inn over the hotel they worked at before. She stated that unhappy employees make for unproductive employees;
Despite the fact that this was a good start, it was not enough. As part of the decision-making process, the decision-makers agreed to visit Holiday Inn and see the improvements that they had made, but still insisted on seeing the competition as well: here is where Kearney swung into action with a touch of genius, along with a penchant for taking risks.
The vacation coordinator arranged a tour of the Holiday Inn’s own hotel, but she also agreed to schedule all the other hotel visits on the same day, even offering to drive them around to the competitors’ hotels. As a result of these impressive facts, the customers were overwhelmed by Kearney’s response and gave her the contract.
Besides Holiday Inn’s good performance against its competitors, the fact that Kearney showed so much faith in her own product that she was prepared to show them similar products from competitors was also very convincing.
As a matter of fact
The first thing you should keep in mind is not to criticize your competitor’s product or services—it shows a lack of confidence in your own.
Allow people to make their own decisions, but be prepared to guide them in certain areas if they need it.
The best way to be helpful is to go out of your way to do so. There will be a sense of obligation as well as a sense of trust as a result of this.