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Old 02-02-2008, 00:02   #1
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A good question!!!

I am posting this question here on behalf of Gmac. It's a very good question and relates to all products and services. It was from an anchoring thread that is closed at the mo, till it gets cleaned up. Please lets not go there in this thread.
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What sales technique is more likely to get you to buy any product, attacking the competitor or selling the product on it's own merits? Assume both products are the same.
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Old 02-02-2008, 00:06   #2
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Both in a sense. Attacking the competitor if the information is true. Promoting the product of course is the most up and up way of approaching the subject.

I like staying positive but I think most like to hear the dirt as well.
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Old 02-02-2008, 00:47   #3
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Selling the product on its own merits.

From what I've seen running competitors down leads to a sour taste right through the supply chain.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:07   #4
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Being the unfortunate victim of a formal education in philosophy my immediate response is that you have answered your own question Alan.

If we “assume both products are the same” then how can you sell a potential customer on your product versus another, without putting the other one down? Even if you say that you have a superior after sales service ….that is the same thing.

It is my observation that the customer is usually the one who asks the salesman to compare in the hopes that 2 equal products might force him to lower his price. (I am guilty of that when I negotiate!)

Having said that, a positive, knowledgeable salesman, who answers my questions honestly generally, gets my support and recommendation. The others get to play games with me and I always win by going elsewhere.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:13   #5
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A business to be successful must have a Unique Competitive Advantage (different schools call it differently but its the same thing).
I want to know what the Unique Competitive advantage is of the product:
Is it price?
Does it work better?
Better made?
Spare parts more available?

Your ad needs to tell me why your product is better. Then I can check and see whose is best for my project.
If you refuse to tell my about your product clearly then I wont buy your product at all because wankers go to the bottom of the list.


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Old 02-02-2008, 02:13   #6
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If, in the light of day both products are percieved to be equal, it would have been exceptionally foolish to have attacked the compeditors product.

Even if the product is better, it is ALWAYS foolish to attack the compeditor.
It is a sign of weakness pure and simple. Attacking the compeditor says 'I NEED this sale and my product isn't getting it!!' I know people who regularly sell tens of thousands of dollars of goods every week by keeping thier mouth shut! One in paticular doesn't say a word until he is asked a question. He is a very successfull salesman. I still do not understand why, but one thing is for sure to the best of my knowledge he has never rubbished the competition.

Just as in life, the perception of desperation, real or not, is a turn off.

Personally I don't care 'who's doing who and who's not paying'. Im there for a solution to a problem, and Im willing to open my wallet to fix that problem. Running down a compeditor indicates a lack of focus, show me a solution, make it simple and effective, thats why Im there.
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Being the unfortunate victim of a formal education in philosophy .
ROTFL!!!!!!!!! Now I know that I will go over all your posts in a completely different light!





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Old 02-02-2008, 05:27   #8
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Its impossible to assume both products to be the same unless they are of the same design and originate from the same factory.

"Marketing people" being, well, marketing people; reside in some dimension where hyperbole rules and any relation to the truth merely coincidence.

Thus if Vendor "X" makes fallacious statements then it is in our interests that Vendor "Y" challenge these vigorously and publicly in these forums.

Theres nothing wrong with the truth no matter how offensively it is put.

The fly in my ointment lies in the definition of truth, which is where, dear Moderator, you come in.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:38   #9
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Selling on its own merits.

I like to think I'm smart enough to compare 2 or more products, get real world inputs from other users, then make an educated decision on which to buy.

When a vendor trash-talks its competition, it shows (to me) that they are starting from weaker footing, product wise.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:51   #10
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I think the question contains a false dilemma. While advertising indicates that well crafted argument can get some individual to buy something, there are issues involved in making a decision beyond desire for the object in itself. Ease of acquisition is probably more important than advertising in several types of products. Gasoline, groceries, anchors of like styles, are examples of products that may fall under this argument. If I am looking at two equally featured and equally priced marine products, the one at my local chandlery will be more attractive than the one in another town and the one delivered directly to my home is more attractive than the one I have to go pick up. This would be very true of anchors.

pv

My bias regarding anchor biases is that they are easily the most biased.
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:57   #11
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Quote:
What sales technique is more likely to get you to buy any product, attacking the competitor or selling the product on it's own merits?
I don't think selling is limited to only two approaches. Buyers use any number of ways to make decisions. The question seems a bit pointed at a thread that remains closed.

Any decent salesperson can find an infinite number of ways to sell a product. The fact that they might be exactly the same makes no difference. You still have to sell them. Selling something is often attempted on the merits of the product. A lot of people may think a good product sells itself, but I don't think you can find a sales manager that eats regularly that will agree. You have to work hard to sell stuff. People are different and think differently. You need a lot of ways to reach them.

Acting like a jerk on Cruisers Forum might sell a few products, but of course we all know that just ain't gonna happen! Sorry Alan it was a trick question. The answer clearly is "selling the product on it's own merits". I'll add one more item. Being nice always matters.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:02   #12
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A host of postive things can be brought down by one false claim. Never, ever lie about your product. You will be found out (especially if the product claim is vetted here!). I don't like a salesman that wastes time running down the competition, for me it would mean he ran out of good things to say about his product without selling me.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:03   #13
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I'd also like to add that if we are talking about sales *people* (not marketing material), trash talking the competition simply shows a lack of sales training. You can point out some issues and steer things so that your prospect ends up seeing the problems with the competition, but it's always best to let your prospect think *they* discovered the problem with the competition.

Then... moving to the close becomes very simple.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:03   #14
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Interesting topic Alan,

Representing multiple lines I have to look at this everyday. First I consider 20hp to be 20hp. Irregardless of the name on it. So I'm forced to look at the application to find the best fit for a solution. Both economically, physically and support wise.
After the likely candidates are selected. Then I can focus on which the owner would prefer.
I see what I do is not sell the product but more guidance in why X is better than Y in a certain application. I guess what I am selling is my knowledge in the product and experience over the actual product.
There are professional ways to talk about the competition without trash talking. I wish more vendors did that.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:29   #15
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I always fall for the one with the best hot babes in the advertising. This has made choosing an anchor very difficult for me because none of the manufacturers seem to be targeting "me". Just a bunch of crap about weight and scope and stuff.

The question depends on how you define "attacking the competition". Craig has certainly gone off the deep end here, but in the early days I learned gobs of technical detail about roll stability, tip weight, construction techniques, holding power, etc from Craig and Alain's debates. To have these debates, they were necessarily critical of the design and manufacturing details of other manufacturer's anchors. For example, you simply can't talk too deeply about roll stability without comparing the design differences between a danforth and a delta. I guess one could beat around the bush with veiled, general descriptions, but I prefer simply bringing the well-known brand into the debate since I will immediately recognize it and it will be among the choices I will have to make.

GMac has brought an incredible amount of knowledge and experience to these debates, but he has never (to my knowledge) named the specific brand of bruce clone that shatters when dropped. It would be direct criticism, but I think this would be deserved criticism and underscore differences in manufacturing techniques. (GMac: I know that you don't manufacture anchors and that your job is to deal with a large range of manufactures and need to stock whatever your punters want while trying to keep them from killing themselves. So it's a bit unfair using this example. It's just that this example fit so well with the point I was trying to make).

Of course, all this learning about anchors is for nothing since I will probably end up buying the first bent piece of metal held up by a hot babe...

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