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3 Ways to “Borrow” Clients from the Competition

by / ⠀Startup Advice / April 15, 2013

Steal Customers From Your CompetitionWhat do I mean by borrow? Well, ‘steal’ is such a strong word…

It’s a proven fact that people are willing to pay more money for exceptional service and customer care. Whatever your product or service, you may have a relatively limited pool of prospective clients and many of those will already be signed up with the competition. But how many of them are truly happy with what they’re being provided? In this article, we’ll capitalize on the age old sales principle of healing the pain and how to gain leverage it with modern methods.

1. Scout out Negative Comments on Social Media

We live in a world where people want to be looked after and, when things go wrong, everybody likes making a good old-fashioned complaint. When the proverbial hits the fan, Facebook, Twitter and other social media services are eagerly persuading us to enter our latest thoughts, making complaining easier than ever. Take advantage and actively seek out people who are riled up by the failures of your competitors.

If you’re an Internet service provider and you find someone complaining about the terrible service received from ComCast, connect with this person, explain how you’re different and offer to heal their pain. You can bet your bottom dollar you’ll find a mightily receptive prospect.

2. Use Google to Your Advantage

This method is an extension of the above and takes it to another level. Google Alerts provides another great modern tool, which can deliver potential prospects straight to your inbox every morning for free. Too good to be true, right? Head over to the Google Alerts service, type in the name of your competitor followed by ‘~complaint’ (without the inverted commas). The tilde character means that synonymous words to ‘complaint’ (such as complains or complained) will be included in the results you get.

Set Google alerts to gather fresh information hitting the web in the form of negative news or comments made against your competitors. Set up a new e-mail address specifically for them so you don’t clutter your inbox, and form the habit scanning over your new alerts each day to see who’s pain you can heal. Practice with different keyword variations to refine the method for your particular niche.

3. Find Prospects Left by the Wayside on LinkedIn

Our final borrowing technique is touch sneaky, but highly effective nonetheless. Filter through LinkedIn for people who work for your competitor companies and send invitations to connect with you. If any unassumingly accept your advances, they’ll be inadvertently showing you their contact and client list which provides clear a benefit of its own.

That said, the main benefit here is being able to see when these competitor salespeople decide to change company or even profession. You can set up LinkedIn so you get a notification when this happens and all their prospects who were previously been looked after (at least potentially) have suddenly been left on shaky ground. Introduce yourself as the healing salve to the pain of their uncertainty and you’ll surely pick up a few more prospects with minimal effort.

If you’re a company director or sales manager, have your whole team doing these steps regularly and see how it’s going in 12 months time. You’ll find yourself one step close to market domination.

Robert Hartline is the CEO of Call Proof, LLC. His company is focused on helping B2B sales teams manage their customers in a sales activity reporting system without everything you hate in CRM.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com 

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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