Setting landmines for your competition is not only a science, but an art. While there’s an obvious structure to the process, knowing how to bury a landmine without anyone noticing is a creative skill.
Landmines assist you with teaching prospects how to decide, differentiating yourself from the competition and controlling the sales process.
If you’re not too familiar with setting landmines, there are some things you should consider.
Know your competition by understanding the competitive landscape
To properly set landmines for your competitors (which include other providers and in-house IT resources), you must first gather as much information as you can on them. This is something you should typically be doing on an ongoing basis — so if you’re not, start today.
Fully understanding your competitive landscape gives you the upper hand as a salesperson. When you know your competitors, and know them well, pitching to prospects becomes a lot easier.
You’re also more confident on the market when you’ve done your homework. For example, during first-time appointments (FTAs), you won’t be worried about prospects surprising you with alternative solutions you’ve never heard of before. In fact, instead of them catching you off guard, you’ll probably impress them with your superior knowledge of solutions in the market, including the alternative of doing nothing (which we at TruMethods like to call the incumbent).
Don’t wait to accumulate information later in the process. The later in the process you get information, the less effective you'll be. Remember this: You can’t go backwards in the process, only forward.
Once you know the competitive landscape, you can start to control the timing of steps.
Be strategic and identify emotional pain
Knowing where your prospects are in the sales process helps you with staying ahead of your competitors and gives you the opportunity to adjust.
Here’s the thing: You learn where your prospects are in the process by simply asking them early and often. That’s all there is to it. If you don't ask, you’ll get burned down the road. I guarantee it.
Ask about your prospect's business. (Here’s another area where you set a landmine for your competitors.) After learning about your prospect’s business, you ask the following question: How much did the other guys talk about your business? You’ll quickly find out the answer — not much.
When you’re asking about the prospect’s business, find the emotional pain (the prospect is less likely to go with you if you don’t). This is also where you begin identifying inflection points, which allow you to use the prospect’s beliefs to reveal our logic and turn competitor strengths into weaknesses.
Your process and results are what differentiate you from your competitors.
Leverage Technology Success and Process
Your business model is what gives you the upper hand over your competitive landscape.
You’re not competing on technology.
That’s how your competitors — not TruMethods members — sell. When your prospects are choosing between results and process, you win.
Landmines are designed to associate the term “low cost” with being a red flag, ensure there's no third option and clump all other alternatives together.
Setting landmines helps prospects make decisions more quickly, differentiates you from your competition and allows you to control the sales process.