Chapter 14

Competitive Whiteboards

I hope [biggest competitor] does not find out about this until I sell our solutions to all of Texas. What a great secret weapon we have stumbled upon.

—New Hire Sales Rep, South Florida

There are two ways that whiteboarding is the competitive weapon: (1) The very fact that you are using a whiteboard, and not PowerPoint, will set you apart from your slide jockey competitors. But more importantly, (2) when you are whiteboarding your solution in front of your prospect, you can visually show the unique advantage your solution delivers compared to your competitors'. You can plant land mines or use silver bullets to de-fang your competition.

In this chapter we will explore several examples of whiteboard structures that deliver that knockout blow by making your unique differentiators crystal clear in a head-to-head comparison.

Bash or Be Bashed

When we work with our clients, we often hear, “We don't want to mention our competition by name in our whiteboards, it's not our style.” For the most part we agree. It's often better presentation etiquette to refer to competitors obliquely by saying “the other guys,” or “the leading vendor,” or “the incumbent vendor.” That way you don't appear to be bashing your competition.

However, there are many situations where the prospect will explicitly ask you how you stack up against a particular vendor, either because they are conducting a head-to-head evaluation for a new project, or because they are considering replacing ...

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