How to deal with competitors who lie

April Dunford literally wrote the book on positioning B2B SaaS. Here she deals with how to handle competitors who misrepresent you or what they do

I've written my fair share of marketing copy that compares my product to much larger established products.

So I can attest that avoiding the temptation to be, let's say, unfairly subjective is hard.

After all, you want customers to choose your product over your competitors.

But here's the real flaw in being unfair when comparing your product to theirs (and also when, as in the original thread, you're the recipient of unfair comparisons/lies): customer relationships built on lies don't last.

Particularly in B2B SaaS, when your customer finds out that you misrepresented your own product in order to win their business, your relationship is blown.

Here's two alternatives in case you're thinking of tearing down a competitor unfairly:

  1. Attempt to understand why your competitor has differentiated and whether you ought to adopt a similar strategy – small product and marketing choices can produce vastly different outcomes over time. Applied properly, a feature change that aligns with a customer's goal is a powerful marketing move. For positioning help, see this post.
  2. Consider the long term relationship over the short term – help your potential customer find the best choice for the job. Sure, they may not buy from you on this occasion, but the social capital and trust you built up will generate unforeseen benefits such as increase referrals, other (larger) opportunities within the same business in future and goodwill from your competitors who, lets face it, probably have the same insecurities that you do. We're all just trying to make a living here.
Here's another link to the original thing. Check it out.

Key Takeaways

October 14, 2020

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