What do you do if a competitor starting slinging mud at you, making outright false claims, or excessively stretching the truth about you? Should you descend to their level and start slinging mud back?
A company’s president recently faced this basic question. The topic made for perhaps one of the most interesting, fresh topic, posts I’ve read in a while. So, do you sling mud too, or, ignore it, push forward, and take the high road?
Here’s something to think consider
Personally, I agree with the sentiment to avoid slinging mud. But there’s a difference between participating in the same behavior and standing up for yourself. In today’s social media world of broad transparency, you cannot afford to ‘not’ say anything.
Borrowing from a Harvard Business Review post yesterday, a happy coincidence:
“Customers also want to hear from the CEO. They want to know your product is better than your competitors’. They want to know you’ll still be in business to service that product a year from now. And they want to know you’re listening. Especially if you’re in a B2B business where purchases are expensive and the product is critical to your customer’s success.”
Today, not defending your position can be hazardous. By default, others will assume it’s true. If you use the ‘old’ reasoning, that (1) customer that called you might suggest (10) others that won’t take an effort to actively call. They’ll assume what they’re hearing about you is true and, just leave.
Defend, state your response, and then keep sprinting forward. Defend your honor but don’t let your team get bogged down in the process.
Final thought, this is the ‘meat and potatoes’ of social media. Whichever channel(s) you choose to employ, start building, developing, growing your customer relationships (B2B or B2C). There are numerous examples where, when someone has been egregiously wronged, those they have relationships with come to their defense or otherwise help in mitigating damage. Even if a claim is true, how you deal with it (hint: honestly<g>) can serve to further strengthen your foundation, your relationships.
(photo credit: Anry Ermolaev)