Differentiation by defamation has to stop. Replace it with Differentiation through discovery.
Tell a story of yourself, not others. Your audience will deduce what your value is to them. Marketing is a 50/50 game. Half of the message you control, the other half is in the mind of your audience. Why complicate your mission by adding another level of complexity?
I ride motorcycles. They are fantastic machines and a joy to ride. Sure, there are many negative aspects and risks, but that is all put aside when enjoying the open road. Yet, there is one very important aspect to riding a motorcycle. The front tire patch is where the rubber hits the road. This tiny postage stamp size space has to work when you stop, and turn. Here is the problem. Do both under volocity, and you most likely will go down. This is just like talking to a customer.
Your meeting with customers is a very small patch in time. You have just enough time to leave the correct positive message with your audience. Apply too much force or stop too quickly in a discussion and you go down. That is why you should focus on one thing at a time. Your value. Disparaging comments about other companies or competitors as a technique in showing off your value is wasted energy and applies two forces that could easily crash your sale.
Today is a new selling environment. Cold or warm calling has moved to relationship selling. That implies you and the customer are in a relationship for mutual benefit. No one would start dating by comparing a past relationship to the potential of a new one. First dates are about finding common ground and discovering one anothers value. Crashing the party with comparisons and disparagements about the previous relationships is both rude and a waste of valuable time in getting to know one another.
Provoking questions will come from the customer. They will use any and all means to find out how real and sincere you are about your offering. Sometimes driving comparisons between you and others. Let them do it. If they are so interested in bashing your competitors, you can stay safely on the high road. You can agree or disagree with them which is far better than you attacking others and leaving them to silently argue with you in their mind. Do get sucker punched when you’re already being challenged.
Differentiation should be clear enough that simple statements and actions demonstrate reasons to buy your product or company. First express the value and why it’s something they have been looking for, need, or will discover. Bring the story along in a way that indicates your place in market and why others may or may not be valuable in the discussion. Don’t be afraid to challenge bad assumptions by the customer, but don’t lead the charge to burning others at the stake. That does not mean make your message so simple you whitewashed the value out. Every sale needs it’s proper level of detail to bring clarity. The customer will always lead you on this, and you should follow.
So let’s wrap this up. Other bloggers, media people, and so called management experts suck. They miss the fundamental points I raise with glossy sound bites that hold no substance in order to keep you from disagreeing with new or controversial points. It’s one polarizing argument or another provoking you to buy their book, or my book, while slamming me for making the obvious available for free on my blog. I write insightful and meaningful things I want you to share throughout your social media, except Yahoo, and some other crappy RSS feeds that don’t work as well as Twitter. It’s my value and integrity as a solo operator vs the network talking head that will keep you reading my blog. So what do you say? Share my stuff today?
See, it doesn’t work here. Why would it work well in your market? In other words; Don’t build yourself up by tearing others down. Stop the defamation to build differentiation and we will all have a new opportunity in market.