Do you know exactly what your competitors are up to? Do you frequently and comprehensively study the competition? Whatever your business or size, you need to stay aware of and review how your competitors’ markets themselves. 

It would help if you examined how they positioned their businesses, strengths, weaknesses, and marketing and sales messages. Again, it would be best if you did this evaluation quarterly.

Can you answer the following essential questions?

  • Do you study their websites?
  • Do you know how they reach prospects?
  • Do you know what they do better than you?
  • Do you know what you do better than them?
  • How do they differentiate themselves?
  • Do they promote a clear point of difference against you?
  • How do they demonstrate this point of difference to clients and prospects?
  • How do they price and package their products and services?

When you compete in a market today, you are competing on a global basis. So whether you like it or not, you compete with everyone in your industry, niche or generic category.

You are also fighting a constant internal battle against inertia and the status quo. This describes people or businesses that choose not to take action.

If you know what the competition is doing better and worse, how they are reaching the market and what they are saying, yet you are still losing out to them, you might be convinced the problem is competitive pricing or discounting. First, however, you have to consider whether this is true or not.

Do you know what value means to your market? You can always find a way to package differently. You can change your business model. You don’t have to compete generically.

However, until and unless you understand what is driving the results, or lack thereof, you are getting, you can’t change them.

If you’re not modelling, studying, and evaluating your competition, you need to be. It would help if you were buying from all your direct and indirect competition and acutely assess carefully what they are doing, what they are saying, and how they are guiding the market.

You have to find out what both your direct and indirect competitors are doing. How are they connecting with prospects and clients? How are they articulating their offers? What does the market want to hear? What are the communication factors? What are the alternatives your target market has to choose from? What are the value propositions?

You can’t out-sell, outperform, outmanoeuvre, and outsmart the competition until you know who it is, what it is, and why.

Then you must take action.