Those pesky competitors! They seem to show up in every deal and exactly at the wrong time too. Also, the numbers of competitors is multiplying at an alarming rate. You need a strategy to beat them and you need it quickly. Start by analyzing your competitor from your customer’s perspective. In other words, how does your customer or prospect view your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses? Based on that analysis, take some action steps. Then use the competitive strategy checklist to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
To translate your analysis into actions, apply the thought process below to your assessment noting actions that should be taken:
- Anticipate your key competitor’s actions. (Proactive)
- Develop tactics to block your competitor’s initiatives. (Reactive)
- Consider tactics to seed land mines for competitors. (Proactive)
- Think through preemptive strike opportunities. (Proactive)
Competitive Strategy Checklist
- Get in early to help shape the customer’s buying criteria (explicit needs).
- Seek out questions, concerns, and objections early and address completely, so they don’t come up later in the sales cycle.
- Identify customer snipers or threats.
- Uncover your competitor’s landmines.
- Focus most of your time on your customer’s problems and opportunities (versus focusing on your competition).
- It’s best to convey your strengths versus attacking the competitor’s weaknesses.
- Rise above the competition with your knowledge of the customer’s business and industry and your knowledge of your company’s resources, products, and services.
- Design a strategy and solution that locks out the competition.
- Understand what will make your decision maker successful.
- Use your resources (for example, competitive info your company provides, institutional learning from colleagues, and external sources).
- Don’t take your eye off the competition until the contract is signed.
- Collect competitive info and share internally to enable institutional learning.
Your reward will be open to ring the bell more frequently with big, TOP Line Account™ ‘wins.
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