How to Tell if A Sales Objection is a Trap Set By Your Competitor.

Competitors are always finding ways of setting traps for the unwary salesperson to walk into.

If a customer objection has been triggered by something one of your competitors has said about you the objection needs some careful handling. But the good news is that this type of objection gives you the chance to set a new trap for the competitor, effectively reducing their chances of winning the deal. There’s more detail on this technique in our video series on handling sales objections.

So how do you know if a customer objection is a competitive trap, and what should you do?


Listen carefully for any customer objection that makes a direct hit on one of your company’s or product’s weaknesses.

Let’s say you have some reliability problems, compared to your top two or three competitors, but you know your service and support is better than theirs. In fact, your company is known for it’s high quality customer support and fast response times.
When the customer raises an objection about concerns over your poor product reliability the chances are that one of your competitors has been pushing their strong product reliability as a major benefit. By focusing on this strength of theirs they have sown the seed in the customer’s mind so that they challenge YOU on YOUR reliability. (Salespeople can be sneaky, can’t they?)
Now, how do you respond? In this case, you would flip the conversation round and talk to the customer about the importance of excellent support and quick response times. Knowing your strengths lie in this area and your competitors are weak you could even ask the customer the question “Well, you wouldn’t want to risk buying something that wasn’t backed up with the best service in the industry, would you?”
To summarise:

  • Know your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Watch for the “Direct Hit” that says your competitor set you a trap
  • Flip the subject round and emphasise YOUR strengths against your competitor’s weaknesses.

For more top tips see our video series on handling sales objections.

Mike Willshare

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