Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Say Something Nice, or Shut Up!

Scott Ingram over at NetworkInAustin.com has a great post this week on his blog reminding us all not to say disparaging things about our competitors. It is very easy to sling the dirt on our competition, especially if we have legitimate reasons....but doing so rarely works to your advantage.

Scott tells the story of someone "bad mouthing" a competitor, whom happens to be someone Scott respects. The person who made the negative comments came off looking bad, as Scott's relationship with the other person was so strong that no random words could hurt the friendship.

My suggestion is never talk about your competitor. Why bring them into the conversation? The odds are that the prospect already has an opinion, and to dispute that opinion is to challenge their judgment. Rest assured that nobody will be influenced by your trash comments anyway, and if they are, they will just as easily turn on you when the next guy comes along and undercut your reputation.

If you are asked by a prospect about other companies in your industry, simply say something nice and then talk about your own strengths. I know one business owner who intentionally asks his vendors about their competitors. Those who talk negative automatically lose. He believes that those who go negative are not trustworthy, and he does not do business with people he cannot trust. If your strengths are not good enough to stand along side your competitor without showcasing their weakness....then get a new job.

Mothers around the world have always said, "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all." Listen to your mother.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

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