Negative advertising or selling your products or services by putting the competition down is one marketing strategy that has been used successfully by political candidates and by some of the larger companies like Apple and Microsoft. Though this technique has certainly received attention in the political arena and on some TV commercials, is it the best way to sell for a small business? Most top sales people will share that a direct attack on a competitor’s product is not nearly effective as focusing on why your own product is unique and what the potential client needs. Promoting what you have to offer, pointing out the benefits to your product, as opposed to slamming what your competitor offers will carry you further in business.

Think of the last time you were in a situation when someone was talking badly about someone else? How did it make you feel? What if you knew the other person that was being talked poorly about and it was someone you like? You may have spoken up or chose to remain silent, but after they left did you wonder who else that person speaks poorly about and if they would ever slam you? Slamming your competitor when on a sales call can work the same way. Whether it is based on facts or falsely perceived facts, it still makes people feel uncomfortable and that can turn against you. Taking the high road and choosing to speak only to your own strengths supports that you are confident with your product offering and not selling out of fear. Even when I am asked by a potential client to tell them why I am better than a competitor I select my words carefully and speak from my strengths and not someone else’s weaknesses.

There will always be a percentage of sales people who use negative selling to close a deal, just like there will always be negative ad campaigns during political races. However, if you are a small business selling locally it will serve you better if you focus on what your own strengths are and not a competitor’s weakness. Be confident in what you have to offer a potential client and try not to let fear take over your sales pitch. Happy selling!

All my best to your success!

“Success wears the Purple Diamond!”