Beat your competition – focus on the customer

Beat your competition

Beat your competition

Beating your competition … today’s it’s likely that you are facing more and better competition than in times of yesteryear.

So how do you increase your win rate?  First, a competitive edge is rarely achieved by knocking your competition.  Knocking your competition puts the competition on center stage.  You need to focus on the customer and manage the competition.

Show your customers why you’re the better choice.  For example: Does your product better meet their needs? Is your company easier to do business with? Do you offer a better price? Are your terms & conditions more favorable?

To show that you’re the better choice, two steps are critical.

Sell outcomes not products.  You win more often when the customer has a clear understanding that you can help them to do what they need to do better than the competition.  How can you help them achieve their business goals and leverage their opportunities more effectively and more efficiently than anyone else?  This is what selling value is all about and it is why great product presentations are simply an exercise in theater – not a best practice for beating your competition.

Achieve a competitive edge.   To achieve a competitive edge you have to understand your competitive strengths and understand your customer’s perception of that assessment.  It is particularly important to keep in mind that your assessment and customer’s perception are often not in alignment – when that is the case that needs to be addressed.

So how do you do all this?

First things first – have an informed answer to these questions:

  • Who are my competitors that have a viable chance of winning the business?
  • What are the decision criteria the customer will use to decide between the competition and us?
  • How do we stack up on those criteria from the customer’s perspective?
  • Why would the players engaged in the customer’s buying process buy from us instead of those competitors?

When answering these questions, think about your responses from two perspectives – your company and yourself. In some cases, a customer may buy from you because of the service you personally provide as their salesperson. We see this scenario often in the medical device market.

In other words, an answer to that fourth question is:  the customer might buy from you instead of your competitor even if they don’t see much differentiation between products or price because you provide value by the way you sell, as well as, by what you sell.  You are the competitive edge.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2015 Sales Momentum, LLC

About Richard Ruff

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. During his career Dick has authored numerous articles related to sales effectiveness and co-authored "Managing Major Sales", a book about sales management, "Parlez-Vous Business" which helps sales people integrate the language of business into the sales process, and "Getting Partnering Right" – a research based work on the best practices for forming strategic selling alliances. Dr. Ruff received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee and a B.S. from Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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3 Responses to Beat your competition – focus on the customer

  1. Pingback: Beat your competition – focus on the customer | Intuitive Strategy

  2. Ray James says:

    In a competitive world we must need to focus on the customer and manage the competition. I would like to say above 4 questions, hints entire business strategy between competitor and us.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Great post! Short, sweet and potent with good advice to wrap one’s head around selling value effectively. I thought it was a great point to elaborate on in regards to knowing your competitive edge while still being aware of your customer’s perspective as they can be two very different view points.

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