Tempted to Ridicule the Competition?

The Situation

As a sales rep for a ready-mix concrete company, Brad has been doing business with a construction contractor named Javier for quite a while.

Javier tells Brad that a representative from another company has offered Javier the same product he has been buying from Brad, but at a price that’s seven percent lower. Brad’s company’s policy is not to cut prices just to counter competitive offers.

Here’s part of their conversation:

Brad: I hope they guaranteed that price they’re quoting.
Javier: I’ll get it in writing, if that’s what you mean. Brad, I’ve liked working with you, but that’s quite a savings for the same quality materials.
Brad: Kind of hard to believe, isn’t it? How long will that guarantee last?
Javier: I’d be making a three-month buy, if that’s what you mean.
Brad: Then, watch what happens. I’ve seen it before. Also, what about delivery? They have fewer trucks, and I hear they break down a lot. When you put in a big order, you’ll have workers standing around with nothing to do.
Javier: Brad, I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve checked out these people.
Brad: Well, your head’s in the clouds now, but I hope you won’t be sorry.

Knocking the Competition?

In general, Brad believes in Q4 solution-based selling. However, he wants to push hard to keep this customer. Is there room in Q4 to point out a competitor’s deficiencies? How should Brad handle this development?

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