It’s conventional wisdom to stand behind your client and your prospect in the face of their own competition. Realistically speaking though, sometimes you just get so many in your sales appointment process that you end up getting rivals in whole sets!
How do you serve promise each one equally? Is it wise to hedge your bets on all of them? What if you’re outsourcing your appointment setting services? Would they want to qualify prospects who are out to get each other?
Placing your bets on all sides of the competition sounds like as shrewd (if not underhanded) tactic. But again, perhaps it can be a little more realistic (especially if being on the losing side could mean serious losses to your business).
To be on the safe side though, you need to adapt certain qualities before you can start this gamble.
- Be in an industry leadership position – It’s a bit like running a casino. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses. You just need to make money off it. But like the head of a casino, you need to be in a similar position in your industry. That way selling/marketing products or services to them is no different than handing over the dice and cards to play.
- Know the game – At the risk of invoking the internet meme, you need to know how your competitors actually compete. It helps you know who’s got greater odds. It lets you know if a side is closing in on a win. And finally, it can help your strategists make sure that none of it will drive any more customers away from the door.
- Have no ‘favorites’ – There are really two ways to ‘favor’ a customer. One way is the biased way that doesn’t have a lot of business merit. The other is the basic 80/20 rule. Your best customers are the ones who keep you in business, whether they win or lose.
Establishing a position of neutrality is perhaps the most important thing you need to do before any of this. Put it simply, you’re already in a position where many of your sales reps are meeting with numerous prospects. You can’t be caught up in everyone’s fight. You’re just there to provide the things they need. It’s still up to them to ensure their own win.