Why you and not the competition? To win address both in your pitch

“Why should I buy from you?” This is what potential customers are repeatedly asking themselves when they are listening to your pitch. When customers listen to a sales pitch, they are not just passively absorbing information. They are actively (silently) comparing, questioning, and evaluating. “Why you and not the competition?” Addressing these two concerns puts you in a winning position. Referrals and testimonials help, but they are comparatively passive. Here are four active ways, with examples, how you can craft a winning pitch that addresses the two concerns.

Why you and not the competition?

Your corporate with a brand to protect has a branch in hot and bustling downtown Nairobi. You are pitching this innovative solar-powered lantern to a potential customer. You know your competition, informal stalls and shops, are selling similar products at a slightly lower price. Your customer, a small business owner from a rural village, is intrigued but hesitant. She’s heard pitches all day, and her mind is racing with questions. “Why should she buy from you? What makes your product superior?  “

Storytelling: Differentiation in action

Now then. Instead of diving into technical specs, you share a story: “Last month, we had a customer from a village in Machakos who was struggling with frequent power outages. She bought our lanterns and was thrilled, not just with the product, but with our ongoing support. We helped her set up the lanterns and provided tips on maximizing their efficiency. A week later, she called back to order more for her neighbours. Our commitment didn’t end with the sale; it was just the beginning.”

This story not only highlights the product’s benefits but also emphasizes trust and ongoing support. It is also addressing her key customer concerns- you are not a hit and run. For good measure you add: “But feel free to shop around. If you find something better, by all means proceed with it.” It’s unlikely she does – shop around, nor find anything better.

This scenario is a daily reality for salespeople across various industries.

Read: Why do people buy, or not buy, your product?

Understanding the Customer Mindset

One day I was in a gift shop looking for a wall clock to buy for my mother. The attendant, noticing my hesitation, with the clock I was eyeing, chimed in. “It’s a good clock. Whom are you buying it for?” “My mum,” I responded, “And I don’t want to burn my fingers as I did with the last one I bought. Not from here though.”

Commendably, he didn’t become defensive. Nothing like, “All our clocks are in mint condition and as a store we do not have inferior yada yada yada…” No. Instead, this is how he responded: “Here, buy this one. It has the same colours and design as the one you are eyeing but, I bought it for my mum three years ago and it’s still ticking.” I was sold. I bought it. My, “Why you and not the competition?” was answered. By the way, that was seven years ago and my mum’s clock is still ticking too. The point being, unless you are a conman, this “Why you and not the competition?” technique is best used on products or services you know work and address the customer need.

Why you and not the competition

The Power of Distinction: Why you and not the competition?

“When we first examined your brief, we asked ourselves two questions? Why do they need 1,000 iPads and why invite several competitors yet an iPad is an iPad? And so, we did some research and found out they could be for your field program officers. You need them to give feedback in real time for this project you were recently awarded and we read about on your website. With this in mind, much as our iPads are sourced directly from the manufacturer and come with a two-year warranty, we still wish to invite your thoughts on three things. This app we have added that allows you to collect and submit data in real time, how it works, and the insurance we’ve incorporated in the event of loss. If we are off at a tangent, please let us know before we proceed. Is this, OK?”

Now, if you hadn’t noticed, you have said, without saying it, that the competitor’s iPad may not have warranties and their sourcing could be suspect. Beyond that you have also shown ‘Why you’ and the feather in the cap – you are not only showing empathy, but seeking engagement too.

Read: Gossiping about competitors will tarnish your credibility

Pre-emptive strike: Winning the customer’s trust in the 21st C

Sometimes you can address the two concerns (“Why you and not the competition?”) way in advance. In this strategy, you pull the customer to you instead of you pushing your way to him. How? If you have an authority you follow online, on any topic you like, you are already sold on why them, and not the competition. Indeed, sharing content is another powerful modern-day method of addressing these two concerns when pitching, that puts you in a winning position. Sharing content is a method common with those in consultancy and such like services like law or medicine.

For instance, Mutahi Ngunyi with his 2M plus followers on Twitter has positioned himself as an authority in political science in Kenya and possibly the region. When a potential customer calls, likely already having interacted with his content, his job is already half-way done. And the best you can do is request a discount if his price tag is beyond your reach. Why? Because, whom are you comparing him too?

Read: Don’t just push, pull your way to closing with ease

Standing out in a competitive market

“Why you and not the competition?” In a competitive market, addressing these silent questions in your customers’ minds is crucial. By clearly communicating your unique value, building trust, personalizing your pitch, and creating an emotional connection, you can turn prospects into loyal customers. Next time you make your pitch, remember to ask yourself: Even as you are addressing their needs, are you giving your customers a compelling reason to choose you over the competition?

Read: Send your buyer to the competition and sell more

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