Most salespeople operate on a scarcity mindset. They believe that there's not enough business out there for everyone. So the tendency is also there for your competition to bad-mouth you, whether it's really true or not, and whether you're really even their competition or not.
The key is in knowing it will happen and being prepared.
In Sandler, we talk about three ego states. They are the parent, the adult, and the child.
The parent is where we get our judgements from. The adult is where we get our logic from. And the child is where we get emotions from.
While emotion is an important component of you as a person, it has no place in a sales interaction. At least, not on the salesperson's side.
But if we're not careful, when we hear about someone badmouthing us, we go on the defensive, and get emotional.
Let's say you're meeting with a prospect named Bob. In the middle of your meeting, Bob says something like this:
"Well, I met with your competitor, Joe at company XYZ, and he said that you guys do a terrible job and have bad customer service."
Spontaneously inside of you, if you're not careful, you go on the defensive.
"What do you mean, Joe said that? I don't even know Joe. There's no way he could even know that!"
Here's the thing: Despite the fact that Bob heard that from Joe, Bob is still talking to you. And there's some reason that he is doing so.
The best response is to say, "Bob, I'm curious, why are you still talking with me if Joe told you that?"
Naturally, you have to be very careful with your tonality when you say that. And it takes a lot of guts. But react in a carefully planned way, with a non-emotional response. When you do, suddenly you're in a completely different conversation that you would be if you'd reacted emotionally.