During the War of Currents, Thomas Edison spent more than a pretty penny churning out propaganda against advocates of alternating currents. It didn’t matter if he had to publicly electrocute live animals or develop the electric chair.

You’d think in this day and age that sort of desperation would’ve been just a little bit unethical.

Unfortunately, it looks like even industry leaders haven’t shown much has changed. And worse still, this kind of desperate competition will always come at the expense of your sales leads.

Imagine a prospect hearing nothing but your sales rep talk trash about a competitor’s products. You can already tell the outcome. It’s not professional. It’s not relevant. And frankly, it’s just not very nice. You can’t really expect a sale to come out that kind of meeting.

Alas, not even the likes of LG are above reproach. That goes especially after it used an iPhone to cash in on ‘BendGate’ a recent online trend that criticizes a certain design flaw in Apple’s latest model. You don’t even have to be a fan of Apple to see how stupid this is. (And in fact, it’s arguably more important if you’re one of those who want Apple knocked down a notch.)

You mistakes like this when you get desperate to bring down a competitor. This hardly means you should see them as perfect. It should just make anyone wonder why even the most mainstream brands can stoop this low.

  • Does it win customers? – Here’s the million dollar question right off the bat. Is it really the most effective way to push prospects towards buying decision? Are you sure they’re not just going to fact-check you during the sales appointment? Going after the flaws of someon else’s products/services might win you some of the time but not all of the time.
  • Does it get you attention? – Oh yes, you’ll get plenty of attention. But here’s the catch: It won’t be just be that of the recently converted. Loyal customers of your competitor are certainly not going to take your spittle lying down. For all your efforts to prove something is wrong, you could only end up being more wrong.
  • Does it fix the problem? – All right so you think that your company has the real solution. What if you don’t though? What if the feedback you’ve been getting has been just as bad as your competitors? In all honesty, the only thing you’ve succeeded at is pointing out a problem. Not very helpful to prospects still in dire need of a solution.

When you get desperate to win more sales leads, the worst way to act upon it is to immediately go after the competition without thinking. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see the flaws and try to gain some insight from the mistakes of others. You just need a really clear head in order to actually get that insight.