16May

How to Identify the Competition: Your Biggest Competitors Might Surprise You

This month, in addition to exploring the website redesign process, we also wanted to introduce a fresh series on competition within your industry. Today we’re going to kick off this series by talking about how to identify your competition. Warning: our findings may surprise you.

We’re all in the battle. The battle to capture customers amongst our competitors. When you consider your business’s competition, what comes to mind? You probably think of a few local dealers, or maybe a few big box companies that have an online presence as well. These are the traditional forms of competition that we’re used to comparing ourselves with. But what if I told you that none of these are your biggest source of competition. Yes, they might be a competitor in the typical sense of carrying the same products and services as you and vying for the same target. However, your biggest competitors actually aren’t competing businesses, it’s your prospect’s status quo and the noise surrounding them.

These two factors influence your ability to reach your prospects on a daily basis, far more than your surrounding competition. Think about it, when it comes to your work life, your mind is less preoccupied with thoughts about other businesses vying for your partnership, and much more concerned with how to get your work done efficiently, what’s already working for you, your personal life, etc.

Status Quo

While some might get excited to learn that a prospect isn’t looking elsewhere, we’ve learned from a recent HupSpot article that this isn’t always good news. Yes, you may be able to avoid competing on price or offerings against another dealer, but you are still in a fight. This fight is called the status quo battle. While it’s challenging to sway a prospect’s decision toward your business, it’s even more challenging to convince them to make a decision about something they hadn’t considered before. For our dealers this could look like moving a customer beyond rental to purchasing a consistently used piece of equipment,  or encouraging them to come to you for their service and parts needs even if they’re not purchasing equipment from you. Every business and dealer location is going to have varying goals of what sector of their business needs to grow, so think about yours and how you can challenge prospects and current customers towards more of your offerings.

So, how do we arm ourselves for this battle? Since the entire sales process is on your shoulders from start to finish, when there’s not a competitor in the picture, you’ll need to be quick and confident to address the pain point that’s missing from their current status. Without this, there is really no reason for a prospect or current customer to consider switching up their status quo. Afterall, don’t we all resist change? Through succinctly pointing out how your solution can make their work lives easier, more efficient, etc., you will be able to attack their status quo by pointing out its flaws and helping them to a better solution.

Noise

What’s commonly referred to as the “signal-to-noise ratio” is the real uphill battle, not all the other competing businesses. With the knowledge that each of us has only so much mental space, you need this perspective to shape the way you approach your prospects. If each prospect could know just one thing about your business, what would it be? Chances are, even if you do get them on the phone or in the door to talk for an extended period of time they’re only going to take away one thing anyways. We all can only handle so much- we’re human!

So how do we overcome noise? By establishing your unique angle and putting that into a micro-statement that your prospect will remember, you’re far better equipped to tackle the battle of noise.

In conclusion, beware of the mysterious competitors we’ve termed “status quo” and “noise.” While other businesses are actively pursuing your customers and prospects, you’ll have the upper hand by addressing their pain points first and establishing your defining, memorable difference in solving them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Gallagher

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