We talk about “now what” a lot at our sales meetings. What is going on in the marketplace, what we are doing to meet that need, and how our competitors are reacting. Yes. Our competitors.
Discovering what our competitors do and why is very important to us at ECHOtape. But not because we want to imitate them. That’s not it at all.
Think about Chess: If black copies every move white makes, black will always remain one move behind. The same applies to business. If you copy your competitors, you’re still one-step behind.
We choose to analyze and pay attention to what our competition is doing for one reason only – to understand the customer better. Not them. Not the market. The customer.
A bit of paranoia is always normal. It’s natural to compare yourself to your competitors. Here’s the thing though, you ARE your own greatest competitor. It’s your mindset – how you see yourself and your business and how you execute on the vision you have for your products – that will determine the direction of your company, and ultimately your success or failure.
When you’ve got your eyes constantly on the competition, you lose sight of your own business.
Be faithful to your customers and you will win.
When sales meetings spin out of control (it happens!), take a deep breath and bring the conversation back around to the customer. Was a customer complaining about a certain aspect of our new tape? That’s potential to improve.
Did a competitor launch a product that meets a new need in the market? Great! How can we meet that need as well?
How about marketing — are “tried and true” techniques losing momentum? Don’t cling to cold calling and door-to-door sales if your customers are participating and interacting more online.
And what about the employees? Did someone in the team voice an opinion on how to streamline the customer service experience more effectively? That could be an area that needs to be explored. Even simple things that improve workplace moral have a long-term impact on sales.
Your customers, not your competitors are the best dictators of which actions are worthwhile and which are not.
Bottom line: it’s not our competition driving our success. It’s our customers — people and businesses who trusted us and are using ECHOtape every single day for their tasks and projects. Most of them don’t care about our competitors; they just want to get their job done. And we should be helping them with it.
Do you analyze your competitors? Or don’t you care? Or you do care but only a little? What are your thoughts?