You already know that you are not going to win the sale every time. You can, however, do everything you can to give yourself the best odds of winning the business. This includes identifying your competition. If you don’t know who you are going up against, you have no way of figuring out how to position yourself properly against them.
Do you know who YOUR competition is? Here’s how, and why, to gather this key information:
- Find a way to get competitor information up front. Many people are afraid to ask their prospects what other alternatives, if any, they are considering. However, this is critical information for you to understand, so ask! You’ll need to position yourself differently if they’re considering other options than if they’re just looking at your product or service.
- Ask about their selection criteria. Once you know who your competition is, figure out what determining factors will be used to select one company versus another.
- Gain a better understanding of your competition’s strengths and areas of opportunity. Do your homework and see where you differ from one another.
- Ask questions that could potentially plant seeds and doubts. For example, can you deliver your product or service within 24 hours but your competition has a 48-hour turnaround time? You might ask, “How important is it that you have 24-hour turnaround?” If they indicate that it’s important to them, you’ve just planted a seed or trap for your competition.
- If possible, position yourself to present your solutions last. The best time to go in with your proposal is after they’ve already gathered information from your competition. This way, it can be a true closing meeting; they won’t be waiting on any additional information in order to make their decision.
In sales, it’s so important to do all the legwork possible to increase your chances of getting the sale, and that includes finding out whatever you can about your competitors. While it might feel uncomfortable to ask for this information, keep in mind that as salespeople we are no less than the people we’re trying to help with our product or service. You absolutely have the right to gain an understanding of their selection process, so uncover the information you need with confidence!
Need assistance identifying your competition and gaining a better understanding of your prospect’s needs? Contact BDU to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation and learn how we can help you position yourself to win the sale.