How to beat the competition into the ground.

How to beat the competition into the ground.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

UntitledHow to beat the competition…into the ground. Don’t you wish the competition would just go away?Dig a hole and die? By now, all the “there’s plenty of room for everyone” and “competition is healthy” proponents have all gone home, or broke, or both. So what’s left are the fighting few. And they’re fighting. Every business is busier fighting competition and price than they are answering the phone from interested prospects. And all of you are hoping for some miracle answer. Well, there is one. But it takes some understanding to get there. And after this short piece you still may not get it. It’s subtle AND requires more work than you’re doing now. The reward is that sales will become easier to come by. Take a look at the options for dealing with the competition and you’ll get a clearer picture. You all know the options: over, under, around, and through — well almost. Consider these:1. Around the competition. Getting around the competition requires connections, inside information and stealth tactics. Not to mention a bit of masterful political play. OK, OK, it’s manipulative and it borders on sneaky. You have to “pull a move” to get the business. Is that bad? Depends. To get the order, no. To get future orders is where the “depends” comes in Depending on your “around” tactics, you may have gained a poor reputation.

2. Under the competition. Bad strategy. All bad. Under cut them by lowering your price? A one-time win where everyone loses. Low profits. Market deterioration. And the next lowest price wins the same way.

3. Through the competition. Fighting has it’s place. And sometimes a fight will produce a win. Tenacity is great, but beating them down by talking trash is a losing position. Fighting them is a good philosophy. Sales is often a fight. But too often a fight for no reason. Some of the fight is based on the dreaded fear-of-loss, or desire-to-gain, rather than the less combative one preferred by the customer: desire-to-help. HINT: You may also go “inside” the competition. Learn all you can about their strengths and weaknesses. This is especially needed for product sales.

4. Over the competition. This is the ideal way. It assumes that you take the high ground. Now don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean sit back and wait. It means rise above in a way that the competition has to respond or lose. Here are a few “over” ways. Ezine. Seminars. Referrals. Build value by building profit. Earn testimonials and use them to get over again. Others speaking on your behalf is better than any sales pitch “against” someone else. I’ll make you one promise: if you invest the time and effort it takes to go “over” the competition, you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams, AND sales will be easier and more fun. And once you reach a high level of “over” you will be qualified for the highest level.

4.5 Ignore the competition. I have spent the last ten years going “over” the competition. Building my own skills and writing. They keep reading my weekly article in their hometown. Do I know them? Some. Most I don’t. Sales and competition share the same adage. “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” Sounds a bit stuffy, but let me assure you that it’s better to build your skills than to try and “beat” someone. I go for “best” not “beat”. It’s a better, cleaner win. Do I always win? No, but I always feel I should have. And I have a self-confidence that keeps me ready for the next opportunity. And I wake up the next day and go to work sharpening my skills. I’m not giving you a simple solution as I usually do. Rather I’m presenting facts and philosophy and letting you make your own decisions about how you want to “handle” the competition. Some of you reading this will think that my way (over) is foolish, idealistic, or worse — not do-able. That will only help the people you hate. The competition. My ways of dealing with my competition (over or ignore) are the hardest ways – but they work. And the longer you go over them the more you can ignore them. Yes, I want to beat the crap out of the competition — it’s instinctive. But a smarter path is have them looking over their shoulders to see where you are. Let them “hear-your-footsteps,” and beat them by being “chosen” or “preferred.” When a prospect picks you over the competition, it’s a day to celebrate and a day to discover “why.” When you figure out why you were chosen, all you have to do is repeat the process.
Free GitBit… Want to learn how responsible a salesperson you really are? Take the responsibility test. Go to – register if you’re a first time user, and enter the words I’M RESPONSIBLE in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to