Competitor Analysis for Sales
Four Box Competitor Analysis
You would not go out to play the big game or fight the big fight without first knowing who your opponent is, would you? Would you, as a player or coach, want to know the opponent's strengths and weaknesses? Why?
Selling is no different. If you're going to sell against the competition and leverage their strengths and weakness to your advantage, then you'll need to conduct this specialized competitor analysis – at least until you get the patterns for each classification of competitors. Then, just minor tweaks are all that will be necessary for each sales opportunity.
Four critical areas you must address when analyzing the competition:
1. Competitor's Strengths: This is where your objections come
from against this competitor.
2. Neutralize their Strengths: How you neutralize those strengths with something as good or better.
3. Competitor's Weakness: All products, services, companies, and people have them. Dig.
4. Your Corresponding Strengths: Counter each of their weaknesses to find your Unique Selling Points (USPs).
Competitor Analysis in More Detail
Competitor's Strengths: Look at them as the customer would. Part of what makes this so important is that many of the objections that you encounter will come from the areas that are perceived to be your competitor's strengths.
Neutralize or offset Competitor's Strengths: How can you neutralize their strengths with something similar or better? If their strengths are going to cause you objections, you must know what you offer that can neutralize those strengths. If you can't, then you must use your Unique Selling Points to counter-balance and offset their strength. We'll get to that in a moment.
Competitor's Weaknesses: When you look at the areas where they are weak, you are beginning to develop a strategy for selling against this competitor. Areas where they are weak, and you are strong become the basis for what you sell to the customer. Look not only at their product and service, but also, their company, and how they do business.
Your Corresponding Strengths: The primary strengths you are looking specifically for are those that directly correspond to their weaknesses. The reason for this is, if you are selling a strength that is also a strength of your competitor, it will not differentiate you in the customer's eyes.
Your strengths to their weaknesses become your Unique Selling Points in this sales opportunity.
Your competitive sales strategy then is to focus on where you are strong, the competitor is weak, and the customer has needs. By focusing on your strengths, it makes the customer look for those strengths in the competitor. And, if they are not there, then you've just created an objection for your competitor.
By investing a little bit of time analyzing the competition, you will be better prepared for the objections created by your competitor's strengths. You'll have the information you need to neutralize them. And, you are better able to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
When you're a buyer, one of your primary jobs is to make comparisons. You want to know how one product is different from the others. If you search for similarities and differences, then know that your buyers do too. Use that insight to your advantage to create more sales.
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Robert P DeGroot, M.Ed., DCH
Author of 22 Best Selling eBooks
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