Dec 292012

Who Is My Biggest Competitor?

In sales one typically thinks of his competitors as the other companies in the same industry.

  • Belvedere sales staff likely fret over Johnson & Johnson’s shelf space
  • Dell marketing targets HP
  • Burger King is upset about Wendy’s taking over the number 2 spot.
  • Mazda likely issues internal collateral on how its people handle Toyota customers
  • Etc.

Based on experience, however, would you agree that other companies producing goods or services in the same vertical should every time be relegated to the number 3 spot every time? Consider that. There is that much slack in market for sales and prospects. If only one could convert those into sales, but if one’s direct competitors should be third on the list who or what occupies positions one and two?

One’s biggest competitor is always ‘doing nothing.’ This ‘do nothing’ is where a value or cost-benefit is not identified and companies choose to maintain status quo. Inattention to you has cost you a sale.

The second biggest competitor is likely something outside one’s industry. Any entity has limited resources, which it needs allocated and assigned according to actual or perceived priority. Perhaps your prospect has declined to move forward with the snow removal machines you were pitching in favour of upgrading the in-house cafeteria (or the endless permutations of that scenario)?

Also somewhere in there is commoditization. In our contemporary society there are so many on-going things and change happening at such speeds that not only customers are tired of you and your offering, but also your industry has become pedestrian. There simply is that much competition out there.

Consider the revised competitor line-up in your next sales and marketing effort.

*Things That Need To Go Away: A broader sense of the competition for your prospect’s dollars.