In simplest terms, a competitor is a person or entity that competes with another for a common goal or objective. A solid understanding of your competition can help you stay competitive, make informed decisions, and maintain your market position.
When you know about your competitors, you will:
- Stay ahead of the competition: Understanding your competitors’ strategies, offerings, and strengths/weaknesses can help you stay ahead.
- Make informed decisions: Knowing about your competitors can help you make better decisions about pricing, marketing, product development, and more.
- Stay relevant: Keeping up-to-date on your competitors can help you stay relevant and ensure that your offerings are current and meet customer needs.
- Maintain market share: By staying informed about your competitors, you can proactively address any challenges and maintain your market share.
- Improve customer satisfaction: Understanding your competitors can also help you identify areas where you can improve customer satisfaction by filling gaps in your offerings or by better addressing their needs and preferences.
Understanding the competition
Understanding your competition is vital in business because it helps you:
- Identify opportunities and threats.
- Stay competitive by benchmarking your performance against others.
- Differentiate your products/services from those of your competitors.
- Position your business effectively in the market.
- Make informed decisions about pricing, marketing, and product development.
By regularly monitoring your competitors and understanding their strengths and weaknesses, you can make informed decisions and stay ahead in a highly competitive market.
The best ways to monitor and understand your competitors include:
- Market research: Conduct market research to gather information about your competitors, including their offerings, target audience, pricing, marketing strategies, and strengths/weaknesses.
- Competitor analysis: Conduct a formal analysis of your competitors to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to understand their strategies and market positioning.
- Industry reports and analysis: Read industry reports and analysis to stay informed about market trends and competition.
- Competitor websites and social media: Review competitor websites and social media pages to understand their messaging and marketing strategies.
- Customer feedback and reviews: Gather customer feedback and read online reviews to understand what customers think about your competitors’ offerings.
- Attend trade shows and events: Attend trade shows and events to learn about your competitors’ products, services, and strategies.
- Monitor industry news: Stay informed about the latest industry news to understand how your competitors are positioning themselves and to identify any new entrants into the market.
By using a combination of these methods, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the competition and stay informed about market trends and developments.
Positioning against the competition
One of the unspoken rules in professional selling is “never throw your competition under the bus.” Do not talk badly about the competition, and do not share false information about your competition. When talking about the competition in a sales call, it is essential to be honest, factual, and focus on the benefits and value of your offering.
How to position against the competition can vary in the context of the conversation and the customer’s specific needs. However, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- When the customer brings up the competition: If the customer mentions a competitor, take the opportunity to address any concerns or questions they may have about the competition.
- When the customer is considering multiple options: If the customer is considering multiple options, including your offering and those of your competitors, use the opportunity to compare your offering and highlight its unique benefits.
- When you need to differentiate your offering: If you need to differentiate your offering from your competitors, use the opportunity to highlight your product’s or service’s unique value proposition.
- When addressing objections: If the customer has objections to your offering, use the opportunity to address their concerns and to show how your offering compares favorably to the competition.
- When you need to address price objections: If the customer has price objections, use the opportunity to compare your offering’s price and value proposition to those of your competitors.
Beating the competition
As a salesperson, you will differentiate yourself from the competition by building solid relationships with prospects and customers and staying ahead in a highly competitive marketplace.
You can do that by:
- Understanding your customers better than your competitor: Know your customers’ needs, pain points, and decision-making processes. Offer solutions that address their unique needs and problems.
- Differentiating yourself and their offerings: Offer a unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition.
- Building solid relationships: Foster strong relationships with your customers by being responsive, trustworthy, and offering exceptional customer service.
- Staying up-to-date on industry trends: Stay informed about industry trends, technologies, and emerging opportunities to stay ahead of your competitors.
- Offering exceptional customer experience: Focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience that exceeds expectations and leaves a lasting impression.
- Understanding your competition: Know your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Use that knowledge to your advantage.
- Building a strong personal brand: Build a strong personal brand that differentiates you from your competitors and helps you connect with your customers.
Read : What is Business acumen?