Winning sales in a cutthroat business environment is tough. It's especially hard when prospects have narrowed their options down to 2-3 finalists who all seem reasonably able to meet their needs. You've likely invested hours of time and company resources, if you've made it this far. Coming in second is not an attractive option.
So what can you do to avoid that outcome? One strategy that sellers have used for years involves planting "fear, uncertainty and doubt" (FUD) about the competition in their prospects' minds.
Sellers from big, well-known vendors were notorious for using FUD techniques to discredit smaller firms vying for the business. The more unscrupulous ones would even "fudge the truth" or make statements that were blatant lies.
When I worked for a struggling technology company, at various times my FUD-inducing competitors slipped in comments such as:
- Are you sure they're able to handle a project of this size?
- I'm not familiar with their services. We really never compete with them.
- Are they going to make it? I've heard they're in deep financial trouble.
Hearing this, prospects fretted and even lost sleep over what could happen if they made a bad or risky decision. After all, their careers and livelihoods were at stake.
Today the tables have turned! Customers are now the ones who are planting feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of the sellers who call on them