95% of business don’t know what their competitive advantage is. This shocking statistic means that the vast majorities of companies are not promoting and utilizing their top skill sets that customers want, and are likely losing out on revenue. Jaynie Smith discusses competitive advantage with John Golden.
This expert sales interview explores competitive advantage with topics such as:
- Defining competitive advantage
- Common mistakes companies make
- How to start improving your competitive advantage
What is a competitive advantage?
Competitive advantage is the value proposition that you bring to your customers. It includes the top three things that customers value about companies in your industry. They answer the question: Why should I do business with you, and not your competitor? “When we go into a company, we ask what they think their competitive advantages are before we reveal the findings to the industries,” said Smith. “95% of companies get it wrong. They don’t know what their customer’s top buying criteria are.” Worse yet, many companies don’t even measure or track the things that customers care about. “Without knowing or measuring, you can’t have a competitive advantage.” If you want potential buyers to do business with you, and not your competitors, you have to know your competitive advantages.
Most companies talk about things that they are already good at because they want to highlight their strengths. They also want the customer to care about the things that they are good at. But this is not always the most productive strategy. For example, an organization might advertise as being skilled at product knowledge. But, after doing research and exploring what that organization’s customer wants, the buyers report that product knowledge is not that important to them. As a result, this disastrous mistake has two-fold consequences. For one, you might be deterring customers who are looking for an organization that has skills that they value. And two, you aren’t drawing in new customers by advertising your company’s strengths properly. You can fix these common mistakes by understanding your competitive advantage, and marketing to what the customers want.
Where to Start:
Mistaking strengths for competitive advantages is one of the most significant flaws that companies make, and is a good starting off point for companies that want to try and change. Strengths are things that you excel at as an organization. Competitive advantages are things that your customers want from you that separate you from your competition. Take a step back, look at how you’re presenting yourself. Are you advertising your strengths or your competitive advantages? Are you advertising generalities that other companies are also advertising? Is the company promoting things like quality customer service that should come standard with every organization? Explore how you promote your brand and tweak it to reflect unique competitive advantages, not general or expected services or things other organizations also advertise.
About our Host:
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.