You and your competitors have a common goal—all of you want to out sell the others in the marketplace. But, do you really know your competition?
Here are things that you must know about your competition:
1. Who are your major competitors? This could be by product, so you might have many competitors.
2. How do they do business? Do they use direct sales, manufacturer representatives, distributors, or affiliates? Are they easy to work with?
3. What is their marketing strategy and how is it different than yours? Do they use a similar pricing method? How do they advertise? Is their website up to date?
4. What is their competitive advantage, if any? What makes them unique or better? How do customers describe them?
5. What are their weaknesses? What don’t they do well? What do customers complain about?
6. Who are their major customers? Are they the same as yours or is it a different list? Do you see any commonality with their major customers: geography, vertical, size, or other characteristic?
7. What are their long term goals? Are they hoping to exit soon or do they intend to stay in the market for the long haul?
8. What are their financials like? Are they making money or are they cash poor? What type of financial terms do they offer?
Can you answer these questions about your competitors?
John Bradley Jackson
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