Managing competitive pre-announcements; Part 2

Betty asked a good question yesterday about managing competitive information online.

Mr. Mohan!

My name’s betty and i recently joined live
admins, an online customer service for web based businesses. I am new
to this field but after reading your blog, i am wondering if businesses
such as liveadmins can create an edge for themselves by ‘not tipping
the hat’ to the competition as you said. it is a competitive world. how
do you know what kind of information to share especially since its a
service, you hold back the info, you lose your clients. what if you
hold back and there is no thunder left to steal? i’d love to know your


I have 3 perspectives on managing competitive information online. While the previous post was specific to pre announcing a possible new product or approach, this is also relevant for information about your products and services.

a) Focus on everything your customer (or prospect) needs to get them the information to make the decision to engage with you (or initiate dialog assuming that you are in a B2B environment)- in their terms not yours, after all the “buyer’s always in charge”. If you really do have differentiated and superior services (or products) then an educated prospect is good for you and they will make the decision based on your product / service superiority. If that means giving them information about the competition like Progressive Insurance or Inovis, do it. Most customers do not make the decision without “shopping around”. They might as well shop around on your site than others.

2. Only hold back information to a more personal setting when you know the next step in the process is a broader discussion. In most B2B scenarios, a prospect does not go from learning about your offering to buying in one step. Its usually a 4-7 step process. You have to understand that, all you need to do is to get the prospect to next step in the cycle – either their buying process or your selling process.

3. Always use an element of surprise when it comes to a launch (unless you are Apple). Most people like to “learn something new” each time they meet with you. If the amount of information you share is sufficient to pique their curiosity and ask to learn more, you’ve most likely done the job.

What do you think?