Do You Know What Your Competition is Up To?

If you build it, they will come.” This famous line from Field of Dreams applies to baseball fields

businesshandshakebut it can also be considered with an eye toward the competition. If your company rolls out a new product or service, you can be sure the competition will soon be touting something similar. This is one of the points Steve Young makes in a SalesGravy post about how to optimize your sales career.

It’s not easy to keep track of what’s happening in the sales industry. Your company is probably frequently rolling out new services and features to attract customers. Every day, there’s another digital competitor in the marketplace with a new media format or a way to sell your clients on their service which, of course, runs on mobile phones.  Some days, it’s probably tempting to want to stick your head in the sand and continue selling the way you’ve always sold. That would be a mistake.

Your competitors are calling on your prospects and clients. If you want to get ahead, you need to know what’s happening. That doesn’t mean you have to drop everything to read the latest press release or tweet from your competition every half hour. But try to set aside an hour or two each week to review what’s happening in the industry.

Beyond that, as Young suggests, you need to understand how the latest bells and whistles from your competitors compare to what you’re selling. No one vendor has a complete solution. Every system has strengths and weaknesses, and these strengths and weaknesses vary from the customer’s perspective.

Take time to understand what’s most important to your prospect and be sure to address how your offerings are superior to what the competitor is selling. There’s no need to name a specific competitor. In your discussions and presentation materials, simply make sure to underscore what’s missing in the marketplace and how your solution can meet your prospect’s needs.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.