Competition is great.
It’s what makes us strive to do more and do better. Whether we are part of a band, on the athletic field or in the talent show, we want to out do our competition. By doing better than the competition, we get recognition, accolades, trophies and in business we get an opportunity to make more money or get a promotion.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
So, let’s substitute Enemy with Competition in Sun Tzu’s famous quote from ‘The Art of War’. Knowing yourself and knowing your competition, will give you the ability to know what deals you can or can not win. No matter what you sell, you have competition. Whether you’ve been in business 1 day or 100 years. That competition can be broken down to either a Product/Service (aka other companies) or the most fierce competitor you will face, your prospect’s Status Quo.
The trap that most inexperienced sales people fall into is that they think their greatest competition is a competitive company, product or service. When in reality, especially today, the greatest competition comes from the status quo! That’s right the biggest competition is doing nothing or continuing what they have been doing.
Let that sink in for a moment! I bet you are wondering how that can be, aren’t you? It’s very easy for prospects to do and as a matter of fact, you do it too! The reason is the unknown risk associated with whatever the product or service you are pitching. Whereas, the prospect knows the risk of the status quo. That is why you must know what value your product or service brings your clients and why you are different then the competition, especially the status quo.
Most importantly you need to deliver this messaging to the prospect in a compelling and convincing manner. But before you get in front of a prospect, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper messaging, know the competition and options, and you’ll need to make sure you practiced this messaging. Only through practice can you make sure to deliver your message in the most effective and valuable way.