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What You Actually Broadcast When You Bash Your Competition

Aug 18, 2007
Over the weekend, my husband and I went to check out a newer timeshare in town. We already own a timeshare, but the sales person we spoke with described this place in such a positive way that we thought it would be worth investigating. And the added benefit was that we could observe their sales process, which is always a learning opportunity.

This time we were both anything but impressed. I could go on and on about the things that the different sales people did that only damaged the relationship they were trying to build. But the ultimate blow came at the end of the day.

I have only been to a few timeshare presentations. At this one, they began by grouping about 8-10 couples and taking them to a boring little room with a salesman, who delivered an hour-long talk about all the reasons you "should" be a timeshare owner.

I wrote, "should" because he truly said, "you should" this and "you should" that throughout his presentation. This is probably one of the biggest No-Nos in sales. As adults, we like to be spoken to like adults. No one prefers to be treated like a child. As soon as anyone says, "you should," he/she is using the language of a parent, not an adult. Who wants to take their time to go to a sales presentation and be told what they should be doing? Oh, but I digress.

After that "sweatbox" presentation, each couple met with another salesperson, who then tried to close just that couple on buying a timeshare. If the couple said, "No," as we did, the supposed Big Kahuna, the ultimate sales guru, was brought in to close the deal.

I have to admit, I was expecting some great salesmanship from him. But once I saw him in action, I understood why his whole sales force was anything but persuasive. His means of building rapport consisted of bashing his competition. And here is the kicker... he KNEW that we owned a timeshare with the company he was bashing! I hope you know that's just foolish.

In so many words, he told us that we were dumb to have invested with that company instead of his. I can think of better ways to build rapport with one's prospects, how about you?

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the company with which we own a timeshare. To begin with, the sales people there did not group all of us together and send us to a sweatbox. Instead, a sales person greeted each couple and then escorted that individual couple somewhere beautiful and comfortable at the resort.

The saleswoman who met with us spent her time asking us question after question about us and our family. After thirty minutes or so of a truly fun "Kaffee Klatsch," this woman really understood our challenges and our desires. Instead of telling us what we should do, she empathized that our schedule did not allow much travel time, although it seemed like we wished it did. She then suggested that we take advantage of the special offer they had going on by getting the smallest timeshare unit, until our schedule could allow for more travel time.

Hmm... which one would you buy from, if you wanted a timeshare?

When you bash your competition, you run the risk of insulting your prospects, that have potentially bought from your competition. This is definitely important in the world of direct sales and network marketing. If the prospect you are talking to has not already sold for a direct sales company or been with another network marketing company, he/she could easily have a few friends who have. You do not ever want to run the risk of bad-mouthing a company with which your prospect previously was or currently is affiliated. You also do not want to run the risk of bashing products that your prospect might actually like. Let your prospects bad-mouth, while you just listen.

In addition, if the only way you can talk about your company or your products is by bashing another's, what you actually broadcast is that you don't have many beneficial things to say about your own. Sit down and decipher the most beneficial benefits of your company and its products. Prospects find acclaim far more convincing than slander. It's good to remember the old saying, "If you sling mud, you are bound to get it on yourself."

It never benefits you to belittle or defame your competition. By doing so, you don't make yourself look better than it; you make yourself look worse.
About the Author
Author and Sales Trainer, Tammy Stanley assists direct sales entrepreneurs generate more business with powerful marketing, selling, and leadership strategies. Click here to get her FREE REPORT,
3 Simple Secrets to Building an Empire in Direct Sales
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