Review your Competition

10One of the most important things for a salesperson is to know and understand the market in which they are operating.
We will learn to review the market, and your competitors, carry out a SWOT analysis and acknowledge and deal with competitors’ relative strengths when speaking to your prospective clients.


One of the most important things for a salesperson is to know and understand the market in which they are operating.

What is the size of the market –is it growing or reducing?

Who are the suppliers, what is their market share?

Who are the buyers? What is their market share?

What direction is the market moving in-what new developments will arrive over the next few years?

What is your competition? Their products? Their offer, their customer service, after sales.

Where does your company and product sit in the market?

IIf you are new to your position this must be your first task-to orientate yourself and understand how potential or current clients see your company and product.

This is equally important whether you are a national account manager for a large multinational, selling Business to Business (B2B) or a one man band fitting kitchens or repairing cars for individual private clients i.e. Business to client (B2C).

In the first instance your client will be a professional buyer, in the second the clients will be members of the public. But in both instances you want to sell the client something, you want them to part with money.

Most clients in either category will do some research, look at the competition, see what is available and want to know how your offer compares to competitors. You should be able to discuss this from a position of knowledge and strength. And you should review this seasonally or annually, to keep up to date with the market.

Very few products are bought on a whim or don’t have any competition. Most people, whether buying professionally or privately, will get two or three quotes if they are buying anything substantial. Research on the internet is available to most people, they will be informed, so you had better be!

The last thing you want to happen in a sales presentation is to be caught unawares of aspects of your competitor’s service or product.

How much better and more professional do you look when dealing with objections from clients, if you are aware of the information they challenge you with, and have a ready and reasoned response for their objection.

So find out who your competitors are, list them, do a SWOT analysis on each one.

SWOT analysis

For each competitor, divide a large square unto four and consider these aspects of their product v yours.

StrengthsWeaknesses
OpportunitiesThreats

To some extent the two sides will mirror each other -Their weaknesses may be your strengths. Their opportunities can be your threats. Strengths and weaknesses can be turned into opportunities and threats. They may need to turn into action!

eg if you are cheaper than them that is a strength for you , a weakness for them. They may have an opportunity to undercut you in the future due to say, re-sourcing raw materials, which is a threat to you.

Example-Kitchen fitter considering one of their competitors

Strengths

We are cheaperWe project manage builders etc

We have a great reputation

Weaknesses

They have a better appliance supplier than we do.One of our electricians has let us down a few times recently

Opportunities

Increase Prices?Allow people to project manage their own work if budget is an issue?

Should we re-negotiate with our appliance supplier

Threats

What if they reduce their prices?What if they begin to project manage?

What if the electrician leaves?

Imagine what competitors might say in a presentation, consider their USP’s against yours.

What benefits are they offering?

How do they deliver those benefits?

Can you adjust your offer to beat or match them? Perhaps this is outside your remit, but can draw the matter to the attention of your line manager or the marketing department.

You need to acknowledge competitors strengths, and consider how you can use one of your strengths to overpower this.

For example, if you are a kitchen fitter, and a competitor is cheaper, maybe you offer a full project management service, managing builders, electricians, plumbers etc. and they don’t offer that.

List these points for your presentation. Be prepared to discuss them and offer a comment on how or why this is not as important as one of your relative strengths.

Develop an action plan from your SWOT analysis. And implement it!

Exercise

Competition analysis –list your competitors

Do a SWOT analysis for each one.

List these points for your presentation. Be prepared to discuss them and offer a comment on how or why this is not as important as one of your relative strengths.

Develop an action plan from your SWOT analysis.

Comments

Review your Competition — 66 Comments

  1. I now understand the importance of knowing my competitors and listing them as well,and the need for a SWOT analysis on each of my competitor. The need to identify their weaknesses and strength, etc.
    Thanks.

  2. Waw!it’s so great to know, thanks a lot for letting us understand this.

  3. The compititors analysis is the bottle neck in business management. you may understimate or over estimate your compititor’s weaknesses and strengthens.

    Really benefited this session a lot.

  4. I c were i was making mistakes in my business but now there
    will a turn around