- It never makes your “thing” shine or look better to disparage the competition.
- How to handle comparison
- It’s your job to communicate your message so strongly that what you have to offer is the obvious choice
- Passive agressive comparison
And come follow me on Periscope! I've been posting videos often, and would love for you to hop on and interact with me, LIVE! Download the free Periscope app, then find me by searching “Diane Sanfilippo.” Replays available after at : Katch.Me
Don't miss an episode!
Subscribe to Build a Badass Business on iTunes.
And don't forget to leave a review once you've been listening!
Get your questions answered:
Fill out this quick form to submit a question to the show.
Build a Badass Business: Episode #31: The one thing to never do
Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.
Diane Sanfilippo: Hey guys. Welcome back to the show. What I want to talk about today is this idea of disparaging your competition. Now, in an environment and a landscape where we have social media everywhere, it’s very easy for people to jump onto something that we’re posting, that we’re broadcasting on Periscope, that we are sharing somewhere in the landscape and ask you a question to compare your product/service, what have you. I’m going to call it your “thing”; right, in quotes. Like whatever your “thing” is; somebody comes in and asks you to compare it to your competitors “thing”. Right?
The very easy and sort of alluring, maybe sexy, maybe seemingly desired response that that person wants; the thing you think they want to hear is, how does your “thing” compare to your competitors “thing”, and why is it better? Innately, we think that person wants to hear us say why our “thing” is great, and the competitor's “thing” is not great, and of course our “thing” is the right solution for that person who is coming into the mix.
Of course, for people who have been with you; maybe you’ve been nurturing some sort of relationship online with your fans, and followers, and readers, etc., and you’ve educated them on everything your “thing” is about, right? Whether it’s a product, a service, a program, a book; whatever it is. You feel like most of the time, people know enough about your “thing” to make a decision. But every now and then, somebody new comes along and it can feel very, very compelling to just say, their “thing” is terrible, my “thing” rocks, my “thing” is going to solve your problems, their “thing” is not.
And I think that what everybody who is an entrepreneur and a small business owner needs to realize, and even if you don’t own the business, maybe you are working with someone else and you are promoting something, it’s important for you to know this: That it never makes your “thing” shine or look better than theirs to do that; to disparage the competition. All it does is to make you look bad; it makes you look insecure, defensive, and unprofessional.
A better way to handle this question is to simply say; while I can’t speak to the other company’s “thing” here, I can tell you what’s great about mine, and you can decide if it’s right for you or not. Now, what that does is it instills confidence; it lets the person know you feel really great about what you have to offer. It also lets them know that they’re free to make a choice. I’m not somebody who wants to instill fear in somebody that if you don’t get my “thing”, your problem won’t be solved. I don’t think that’s a good approach. I think people need to know that you have confidence in them to make a decision that’s right for them, and that you’re here to give them education and information, and to let them know. Hey, my “thing” is great; hopefully it’s the right “thing” for you. If it’s not, then there’s something else out there that will solve your problem.
Now, if you truly believe that your “thing” isn’t for these people who are coming to you, then here’s where the difference can be made. It’s your job to communicate your message so strongly, that what you have to offer is the obvious choice. Let me say that again. It’s your job to communicate your message so strongly that what you have to offer is the obvious choice. And that would be the obvious choice to solve the problem that this person has, right? Everything we do with owning a business, a product that we have to sell or promote, everything that we do is in helping to serve the people who have the problem that our “thing” solves. Right? That’s what we’re here for.
We’re here to help other people solve problems. Every single business owner, everything we do, I see there’s a problem out there, what can I do to create a solution for it? That’s what we’re in the business of. Every business owner, every entrepreneur, it should be your drive from your gut. Your drive should be that you want to help people solve problems, you have ideas and products and services that can make people’s lives better. That’s what we’re here for. Your job is not to do this by disparaging your competition. That approach, in my opinion, is weak sauce. That approach is not badass.
What everyone needs to remember is that marketing equals communication, right? When you are in a situation where someone is asking you a question, or you’re in a situation where you’re trying to promote the “thing” that you have to sell; the thing that you are getting behind 100%. You feel so confident that you’re “thing” is going to solve people’s problems, your job is to communicate that message to whoever it is that has the problem that you need t solve. So, that is the key of what marketing is.
The smart and secure and sane approach to marketing and communicating is to consistently build up the confidence that your customers have in what you have to offer so that they know without a doubt that that’s what’s going to solve their problem. Because you believe it so strongly, and you can show them by example. You can show them the qualities of your products; you can show them what it’s done for other people. There are a million ways to kind of show them the benefits that it has to offer them, as well as the features of your products, service, etc. None of that has to include putting down your competition in any way.
Now, what I want you to do right now, if you’re listening to this in your car don’t take notes; if you’re listening to it somewhere where you can take notes, do it. Or just visualize a scenario where you encountered someone else who was putting down their competition; again, whether it’s a product, a service, maybe it’s another person who offers a service and they’re putting that person down, they’re putting a product down in order to lift themselves up.
Now, I’m not talking about somebody who says I just didn’t like this product, and it’s their testimony of their experience with the product. I’m talking about somebody who is speaking about their competition in an environment with you, what’s the vibe that you get from that person? Does the vibe from that person come off as secure, and confident, and like they know what they’re doing and they have something great to offer? Maybe on the surface. Right? Maybe on the surface you think; well obviously it sounds like that other person or service is not that great. Maybe the way they’re explaining it is pretty convincing. Or maybe you’ve had an experience with that other product or service, and you’re like, yeah, I kind of agree.
But then you take it that step further, and you really look at what’s happening here. I think this is a little bit of psychology, where you may get on the surface where instinctively you respond to this disparaging with, yeah, you’re right! And right away you might think, ok I’m going to go with this other “thing” because you are making it sound like that person, or product, or service isn’t right for me. But then you’re kind of left with this slimy feeling, you know? You’re left with this, oh, I’m going with you, or this product, or this service because that one is not right for me; instead of, I’m going with you, this product, this service, whatever it is, because it is so right for me that nothing else right now seems like the best solution. That’s a better way you want to leave that encounter, right?
So you encounter a website; you encounter a product, wherever it is. Maybe you’re just shopping Target; maybe you’re on Amazon.com. Whatever the case may be. What you want to experience is that you feel so confident in this thing you’re about to buy and exchange your money for, that you’re like, this is it. This is what’s going to solve my problem. You don’t want that exchange to be where you feel like, you know what, I guess this will solve my problem, because it sounds like the alternative isn’t great. You never want to get something, you never want to engage a service or buy a product just because it seems better than the alternative. You want to engage with that product or service because it seems like the best, absolutely right solution for you.
And really, when we come to that decision on our own, we’re able to take all the information that we have, all the inputs that we have and make that decision, the way we feel about that decision is so different from if we’re in an exchange with someone and really the only way we make the decision is by this comparison where it’s like; this is good, this is bad.
I want you guys to think about that. I want you to think about the feelings that are evoked from these different encounters. I want you to pause; if you find yourself ever in a scenario and I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at some point in time, and I think this is where the self awareness and the ownership of everything that we say and do; and really, this is not like, I’m not saying this to say I’ve never done it. Because I don’t know; maybe I have. But it’s something that I’m very keenly aware of now, because when I see it happening out there, I’m very quick to notice that it feels bad. It feels slimy, it feels defensive, it feels like, why do you need to defend this thing so badly by putting something else down?
And sometimes it happens in almost a passive aggressive way. Sometimes someone will say, well other products out there that some people may be familiar with. Even if you’re not naming names, it still doesn’t make you or that other product or service look good. I don’t know if you guys have had this experience, but I’ve definitely seen it where someone is trying to defend a product or service, and they’ll be passive aggressive. They won’t name names, but for those people who are familiar with the sort of competitive environment, it’s obvious. And it just doesn’t make; it doesn’t make anyone look better.
So really, you have to pull this back to consistently explaining and communicating, which again, marketing is communication. Remember that hands down. Communicating to the people who have a problem that you have to solve why what you have to offer is the best solution for them, and never pitting it against your competition in a “this is why we’re good, this is why they’re not good for you”, and allowing your customers to come to the conclusion that this is the best solution for me because it’s the best solution for me. Not because it’s better than something else. That doesn’t need to be the reason why they choose what you have to offer.
Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.
That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.
Don't miss an episode – subscribe here.