Prospects want to hear specifics about why your product or service is better. Here are four categories that may help you prove your claims against the competition:
- Unique qualities. What can you offer that nobody else can? Give prospects whatever they need to understand the unique qualities of your product or service.
- Advantages. What do you do better than your competition? Try to convert the value of your products or services into financial results.
- Parity. Is there little or no difference between you and your competition? Look for even minor differences that may add up to a competitive advantage.
- Disadvantages. Are there areas in which competitors have a definite edge? Do some of your advantages tend to offset these disadvantages?
Exploiting competitive weaknesses
Exploiting competitive weaknesses is a key to successful prospecting. Start with your competitor’s salespeople. Are they skilled, experienced salespeople or are they inexperienced or suffering from attitude problems?
Prospects don’t like to deal with incompetents or salespeople who take them for granted. Finding prospects who are dissatisfied with their current suppliers is a critical step in finding new customers.
Look for any gaps in your competitor’s product lines, especially when you offer a more complete package. What are the major strengths and weaknesses of your competition? How do their strengths and weaknesses compare with your own?
Common sources of competitive intelligence include:
- Competitors’ home pages on the Web
- Financial disclosures and reports for public companies
- Press releases, new product releases and advertising copy.
- Suppliers who are willing to share information about a mutual competitor.
- Trade shows and conferences.
Don’t overestimate or underestimate the competition
Some salespeople look at competitors as super powers, especially when they’re market leaders. They forget that even the best companies make mistakes or are susceptible to an innovative competitor.
While it’s a mistake to overestimate the competition, it can be equally dangers to underestimate them. Competitive products or services may be just as good as yours. Salespeople who underestimate the competition start to take their customers for granted. They forget that competitors are pursuing their customers actively.