Smart sellers engage with prospects only after they have developed a thorough understanding of how they stack up against common competitors.
To be confident and win more business you must clearly understand how your services or products compare to competitors.
This competitive analysis should be done from the client’s perspective. Be objective. Don’t limit your findings.
Some people fall in love with what they are selling
This can be a trap for technical staff who are absorbed by how good (or how complex) their product or service is.
They can get so mesmerized by what they are offering they create a ‘halo effect’ in their mind around their products or services.
A Halo Effect is when you allow positive factors to cover up, or obscure, potentially detrimental attributes of your solution. Essentially you create a halo that prevents you from seeing any shortcomings of your product or service.
This can stop you from being critical and making a realistic assessment of what your client will see and think when they review your offer.
Compare your competitors like your prospects do
One method of undertaking a competitive analysis is to use a weighted comparison. (Download the free Weighted Competitive Value Chart template.)
In this chart you list the key features and related benefits (‘potential’ benefits in the SOX™ question methodology). Then you assign an Importance Factor (from 1 to 10) against each key feature/benefit.
The subjective part of this analysis is to make a judgement about your main competitors and give each competitor a Performance Weighting for each key feature/benefit (1 being ‘weak’ to 10 being ‘strong’).
When the Importance Factor is multiplied by the relative Performance Weighting the resulting variables can be ranked to give an indication of which competitor might stack up most favourably from the clients perspective.
Analysis helps you create strong selling statements
Whilst this analysis may be seen to be somewhat academic, the real benefit for you is you can start to create your key selling statements that will either:
- Establish or reinforce your market leadership; or
- Clearly explain any obvious differences to minimise any detrimental impact of potentially stronger competitors.
This competitive analysis will also give you extra confidence if (or when) you are asked by prospects to explain or compare your products or services against others on the market.
Use the Weighted Competitive Value Chart to be fully prepared for your sales conversations.
Leave a comment below to let me know how you assess competitors.