In this down economy it’s not enough to know your
product inside out or understand your clients’ needs. You better keep close tabs on your competitors,
because if they’re any good they’re keeping tabs on you.
distinctly remember a former employer of mine calling out to the sales floor,
heatedly, as we were discussing the competition.
“I don’t care what XYZ is doing. All I care about is what we’re doing.”
short sighted, not to mention ego-driven.
If you don’t know what the competition is all about then you’re only
measuring your own company’s success against itself, and that’s a very small
fishbowl to qualify growth.
salespeople and managers, like my former employer, will tell you that they are
far too busy with their own concerns to worry about the competition.
has time to worry about XYZ? We
barely have our head above water.”
may be true, but the world’s best—be it business, politics, or sports—know all
about their rivals.
Federer knows everything about Rafael Nadal’s game, and vice-versa. Forehand, backhand, first serve, second
serve—everything. The world of
business should be no different.
In today’s climate you need every advantage you can get, so spending
five minutes a day knowing what XYZ is beneficial to your future success.
right. Just five minutes a
day. And if you don’t have the
time, assign the task to an intern or a junior person.
to your competitor’s website and check out the latest press release. Did they cut any deals with a major
company? If so, what company was
it? Who’s quoted in the
story? Take the name down and add
him or her to your lead list.
sometimes the best leads are provided by your competition. When you go to their site look for
“Clients.” Are these companies on
your prospect list? If not, they
the competitor’s website? Is it
easy to navigate or is it a mess?
Maybe their design is something to emulate.
your competitors. Find out how the
company operates. Is anyone there
to pick up the main line? Are they
knowledgeable? Are their prices
competitive with yours?
the competition not only gives you more insight into your own company—how you
can better your product and services—but it’s an excellent motivator and helps
fire up your employees. (Let’s
kill XYZ!) It’s only natural to be
competitive in the office, but the real competition lurks outside. Business is war and in war there are
winners and losers.
if you don’t know anything about XYZ then you just might end up being a
casualty of war.