You know that it doesn't work to knock your competitors, particularly if yourprospect already has a relationship with them. It is more effective to ask theprospect's feelings about each competitor. But to make this technique work, youhave to phrase the questions well.

Less effective questions

"What do you think of competitor X?"
"What don't you like about them?"

Questions like these usually lead to simplistic answers with little usefuldata. Worse, they may cause your prospect to begin defending your competitor.

More effective questions
Try this two-step approach to asking prospects their feelings about acompetitor:

I know you currently deal with competitor X. And I know they're a good company. What have they accomplished for you?

This sets a positive tone, and it results in the prospect telling you thingsabout the competitor that you may need to match. Then ask:

What do you wish competitor X could do that would make them serve your needs even better?

This tells you where your opportunities lie to sell against competitor X andgets the prospect thinking about their deficiencies. These two questions set youup to say:

If I can show you how my company could accomplish everything competitor X is doing for you today, plus those things you wish they would do, would you be interested in talking further?

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