Three Easy Ways to Know Thy Competitor
by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach

"Did you hear what our competitor is doing?" This question has caused many business people to freeze in their tracks. How about you? Does your sales team know what your competitors are doing? And if a prospect was to ask them, "give me 10 unique reasons why I should buy from you," could they answer this question without a pause? "Knowing thy competitor" is critical, and this article will outline three easy ways to know more about them, than they know about you! Let’s get started!

Their people. Begin by "shopping" on the telephone, by mail and in person, the competitors who offer similar pricing and products as your company.

When "shopping" in person, notice their sales staff and look for the way they dress, the tone in their voice, the organization of their office, the ease they display when presenting their product or service, and what questions they ask before you leave.

By observing closely, you will see and hear the quality of person hired by your competitors and the time they invest in their training program.

Then ask yourself, "how do these standards, compare to ours?"

Tip from The Coach: Whenever possible, interview EVERYONE who has worked for your competitor. You can learn volumes about how each company hires and trains their people and you will be able to identify their unique management style. Also, ask questions about this person’s previous work experience, as it may give you new ideas for recruiting key people. And isn’t finding a great team player always a hot topic?


Their product. "Shop" your competitors at least quarterly, listening closely for any new services or products they offer.

Pay close attention to the quality of their brochures, the appearance of their products and any special ways they add "unique" value to buying from their company. Use a consistent "shopping" report so you can easily summarize the unique features and benefits of each competitor.

Now, how does your company compare to the rest? And more importantly, how does your company compare to the best?

Tip from The Coach: Every Monday morning, have your sales team spend 15 minutes reviewing the "shopping" reports done the previous week. When your team has this type of timely and detailed information, they should easily be able to respond to a prospect who says, "why should I buy from you and not your competitor?" Have your sales team practice handling this type of standard question, as practice does make PERFECT!


Their pricing. Once you know the specific details about your competitor’s people and their product or service, your sales team will have much more confidence when they explain why your product is "special" compared to the rest.

And when you focus on the strengths of your product, so will your prospects. Lastly, people buy from people! A small price difference can easily be overlooked, when your sales team is courteous and professional!

Remember, each prospect is looking to find the right product, from the right company …and feel good about their purchase!

Tip from The Coach: If price is the only issue, work with your sales team to prepare in advance, a checklist of the specific features and benefits unique to your product or service, as compared to your competitors. Have each sales person practice presenting this checklist with confidence and accuracy as this part of their presentation will usually be enough for the prospect to say, "OK, how can we get started!"


So, follow these three easy steps and see how much easier it is to sell your product or service when you know more about your competitors, than they know about you! If you would like to receive a free report to use when you are shopping your competitors please call The Coach and one will be faxed to you in ten minutes!

Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach, founder of PowerHour®, a professional business coaching service delivering customized training, by telephone, in management, marketing and sales for property management companies, apartment locator/corporate housing services and publishing companies worldwide. We specialize in global distance learning by telephone, using our state-of-the-art conference call system for interactive and dynamic TeleForums. Twice-monthly TeleForums link 10 -100 executives/ professionals/ individuals who are geographically dispersed, in a time efficient and profitable format. PowerHour® is based in ski-town—Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail ernest@powerhour.com or visit our TeleForum website: www.coachingsuccess.com. To receive a FREE property management success newsletter send an E-mail to: ernest@powerhour.com. Recent PowerHour® articles have appeared in 1500+ business/trade publications and websites.


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