Tips For Selling In A Highly Competitive Marketplace

By: Linda Richardson | 2003-04-17

I am selling in a highly competitive marketplace. My biggest challenge in prospecting is creating interest and getting the appointment, since we really do not offer anything that is special or more beneficial than our competitors.

The first challenge is for you to establish differentiation in your own mind. No two things in this universe are identical and if you think there is nothing special or beneficial in your offerings compared to your competitors, your prospects are guaranteed to follow suite. Look outside the technical features of your product to the level of service, speed of delivery, and the value you yourself bring in delivering what you sell. You need to position your capabilities so there is value. If you don't, the prospect won't see the value.

In regard to prospecting:

  • Rather than cold call, get referrals so that you are at least calling a warm prospect.
  • Prepare - think about what the prospect needs, do homework, go to the prospect's web-site, and find a point of connection/hinge.
  • Be persistent.
  • Get on the phone and use these tactics:
      Call at off times (early morning, lunch, after hours).
      Use a hinge to warm up the calls.
      Prepare a need benefit statement to capture the interest of the prospect - avoid hype.
      If you ask for an appointment, make a second effort, but this time, with a time limit (20 minutes).
      If you can't get an appointment, get an OK to send the prospect an e-mail so you get their e-mail address.
    If you have a viable, competitive product, with persistence and a process you can increase your appointment ratio.

    About the Author: Linda Richardson: President and CEO of Richardson, training consultants to corporations, banks, and investment banks globally. Richardson has 110 professionals, 15 regional offices in the United States, and presence in London, Australia, Singapore, Latin America, and Asia. Clients of Richardson include KPMG, Federal Express, General Mills, Tiffany & Co., Dell Computer, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, and Kinko's. Visit