Now that you have discovered how to differentiate from the competition, put your new knowledge to the test and complete the competitor analysis worksheet.Download Competitor Analysis Worksheet
Now go through the worksheet and start identifying what are your differentiators and what is your company’s unique selling position, proposition or point.
At the top of that worksheet, you’re going to have three columns. At the top of those three columns, please write down competitor #1, competitor #2, and competitor #3 such that you have your top 3 competitors at the top of that worksheet.
Then, as you go through the worksheet, you’re going to see that there’s a number of different rows. Each of those rows are questions that you’ll need to answer and do answer them honestly.
I know we don’t like talking about the competition very much. But like we’ve said before, there’s no way you can tell customers how you’re different or better unless you actually go through this type of exercise.
The first question that you need to answer is what are their strengths? You might be going “How am I supposed to identify which are the right ones to put down?” Just think about which companies do you lose business to? What are they great at?Who are customers also looking at? Those will give you some great clues and some hints.
What are their strengths? What are they known for? What is their brand? What’s their brand message or their brand promise? How are they perceived by the market? How are they perceived by customers? What are some of their key messages? What’s their positioning strategy? Some might be overlapping or redundant. You decide which ones make sense for you and write those down, then answering those questions for each of your top 3 competitors.
Now it gets more fun. You can start writing down what are their weaknesses? What are they not good at? What are some areas where they perhaps fall behind? How have they disappointed customers?
Some refer to this like a SWOT analysis in marketing –Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We start looking at strengths and weaknesses and then we’re going to identify what are some opportunities for you to fill the gaps.
After you’ve gone through their strengths and weaknesses, what you want to do next is to get some input from other people. Do it either on your own, with a sales leader, with some of your colleagues, with a buddy, a team, or at a sales meeting. Maybe start on your own and then work with other people. It’s good to get some more input because you may not have the answers to these questions.
Next, start identifying what are some opportunities for us to fill those gaps. Where are we strong? Never mind where you’re weak, we already know our weaknesses. We need to focus on our strengths. What do we do very well? How do we stand apart from the competition?
I’ve done this activity with scores of companies around the world and what I find is sometimes your strengths, or your positioning, or your competitive advantage could be different against one competitor versus another. So it really depends on what their messaging is as well.
Once again, you can’t know how you’re better or different until you actually take a look at the competition. So be sure to check out their websites, their brochure, and some of their marketing materials. Do whatever you can to learn more about the competition and that is going to help you find your unique selling position.
Once you’ve gone through this competitor analysis worksheet and you’ve identified your unique selling position, your next job is to start communicating that more actively and aggressively with customers. They need to know how you’re better or different. This is so that when they’re thinking of someone in your space, whether it’s insurance, finance, real estate, auto sales, retail sales, ICT, Infocomm Technology, Telecommunications, depending on your industry; when they think of companies like yours, they need to think of you.
Now on to the quiz to complete this course.