We’ve all heard the old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”. That couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to sales.
In sales, what you don’t know will hurt you. Understanding your competition has become much more important in an environment where there are simply less deals to go around. An in-depth knowledge of your competitors will demonstrate unique differences between you and them, ultimately giving you the ability to sell against them by consulting your clients through a transaction from start to finish. Being well informed of your competitors and understanding why doing business with you based on all aspects of the deal will give clarity on how you, the company you work with, the service you provide and the communication you provide during the process will position you to win the business more often than not.
What to do:
Shop Your Competition – Know who your major competition is in the markets your service
Know Their Products – as much as you can! This is extremely important to position your own product offerings
Talk to Their Customers! – Learn what they like and what could have been done better in their transaction
Study Them! – How are they positioning themselves in the marketplace?
Know Their Strengths – Everyone has them. Learn them!
Know Their Weaknesses – Again, everyone has them!
The better you can articulate the difference between yourself and your competition the more knowledgeable and credible you will appear and as a result – close more deals!
Don’t make the common mistake of believing you have no competition. Too often business plans talk about a uniqueness to one’s business being so great that there is no one else doing what you are doing. Just like beauty is int he eye of the beholder, competition is defined by the eye of the customer!