Skip to main content
Sandler Training | London, UK | London,

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience.
You can learn more by clicking here

To create a world class sales organisation, you need a high performing team. To create a high performing team you need a system for strategic coaching to support their development.

Here is a scenario to think about for a future coaching session.

You are on a call with a salesperson and the prospect says - ‘How are you guys any different from the competition?’

What would you like your salesperson to respond with? How can you help them with the mindset and technique to deal with that type of question?

In some organisations, they get out their battle card. They might know the competitor the prospect is talking about and they have a pre-made response of why they are better. They launch into a features and benefits match and try to impress the prospect. It becomes a fight, but sales should never be a fight.

So what should they say?

They need to find out the intent of the question.

At Sandler, we refer to this as a smokescreen question, it has danger written all over it. It is asked for a specific reason, but your salesperson doesn't know what that is yet. It might be because they want one specific thing the competition cant provide. It might be that they love the competition and don't think you can beat them. Or it might be for a hundred other reasons. At this stage, they don't know.

So your salesperson should use our questioning strategies to understand the provenance of the question. 

They also need to stay slightly negative, behind the pendulum, when they ask those questions. (if you aren't sure what that means then check out this guide on negative reverse selling)

Lastly, the salesperson needs to remember that they have equal business stature with their prospect. The typical subservient salesperson wants to answer the question, but one with the right attitude and mindset feels comfortable answering a question with a question, to find the real intent.

Here is what that might sound like together:

How are you different from your competition?

“The reality is, right now, I don't know if we are different.

Maybe we can back up a bit, I can find out a bit more about your business, who you currently work with and what you are trying to achieve.

That should give me a good idea of if we are a fit and then we can talk about what the differences are between us and our competition, what we can do to get started and how we can prove some of the things we know our client's value in the work that we do.

Does that make sense?”


The salesperson here is not avoiding the question. They are answering it honestly and letting the prospect know that they want to give a thorough answer, and they can only do that by going into more detail.

If you want to find out more about our coaching programme and how we can help you coach your team, then take a look at the sales coaches' playbook

Share this article: