4 smart ways to deal with your competitors

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the topic Competition It can be something very polarizing. Many of the world’s most successful professionals profess to be obsessed with competition, almost wrong. The truth is that if you start a business and plan to grow your business, you will eventually come across someone who has or has an idea so similar to one that you just can’t stop thinking about it. In fact, there are probably 20 different articles on the topic of competition vying for clicks with this particular article!

So as entrepreneurs, how should we think about our business Competitive scene? These are some of the notes I made while wrestling with our team In the process of building my company:

Related: How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

1. Don’t ignore it

When starting something new, it is important to do a complete market survey to understand it What and who are you against. Determine the size of your market, and list your direct competitors, your enemies, as well as companies that are one or two steps away from becoming a direct competitor. Find out how much they’ve raised, the depth and breadth of their product offering and the expertise of their founders and team. Use tools like Directions to understand the common and commonly searched keywords in your category to help position you relative to your competitors.

If you can’t find at least three competitors in your space, that’s usually a very bad sign. It is rarely the first and only product on the market. In most cases, entrepreneurs who claim to be the “only product” in the market are still looking for an actual market and a problem to solve. Unless you have a unique vision with real customer attraction within the category you’re creating, it’s usually easier to innovate and disrupt incumbents in a static category with a known, identified issue Buyer Profile.

2. Don’t be afraid to share more

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs are reluctant to share any public information about their business or the product they are building. In fact, occupants, especially the big sellers, don’t care what you’re building. You can literally contact the lead product manager who is working on a product in your space and share your work with them. There is very little chance that they will do anything with the information you share with them.

Big companies have developed road maps that are difficult to modify. Even if one of your old competitors wanted to compete with you, it would require them to shift resources away from their current priorities to do so. We’ve even gone so far as to publicly post our roadmap to clients and potential partners To see when and how we were prioritizing things. In fact, this has become an opportunity and a moment for us to review our position and focus.

When we set up our company, one of our direct competitors immediately signed up for one of our free trials. They even took a potential “partnership” invitation to get it and information about our business. Two years later, that same company came back to us and offered to take over us for a generous multiple of our revenue. In short, it can benefit you to share more with your competitors. Qualified competitors may realize how far behind they are in your category and make you takeover view To speed up the roadmap or build their team.

Related: 3 reasons why you should spy on your competitors

3. Don’t be a hole

As markets heat up, competition can become fierce, especially if there is a limited window or opportunity to seize territory Establish yourself as a class leader. In the heat of battle, it can be tempting to start talking trash with your competitors when they are in a joint sales cycle. Do not do it.

It’s okay to highlight the differences between your product and your competitor’s, but do it somehow Raise both positions while allowing you to advance your interest. For example, if you’re selling to an enterprise customer segment and you’re talking to an SME customer, there’s no harm in referring that prospect to a competitor focused on selling the market. Not only are you indicating that you really care about the right product for that customer, but you are also demonstrating that you don’t need their business. Confidence is wonderful.

When you choose to throw stones at competitors, this indicates that you are overcompensating for something. Prospects can smell despondency from a mile away, and that scent can carry over to future selling opportunities if they let it. Most importantly, don’t underestimate your competitors in writing. I had many potential clients forwarding emails from competitor founders/executives with all visible flaws in our products and business.

Not only was this great bulletin board material that motivated our sales and product teams, but it also helped us reveal a New market opportunity We didn’t think about it and our competitor started selling successfully. We were second in the market with this product; However, we did better and eventually won the class, thanks to the insight from our biggest competitor.

4. Don’t let it eat you up

Competition can be addictive. The highs and lows of success and defeat are what make the game cheerful. It can also be incredibly mediocre, especially when we’re on the losing end of a competitive sales scenario.

Related: Do not declare war. Respect competitors and take advantage of your strength.

I am not suggesting that our marketing teams develop their own battle cards or that we stop arming our sales teams with the resources they need to set “landmines” for competitive sales scenarios. However, your competition is one data point that can help in your understanding of the market you are operating in. Use competition as an accelerator For your own learning and self improvement. There can (and will) be multiple winners in a category. This is to check that your category is increasing, which in turn draws more attention to the space in which you are building. Don’t run away from them. accept it.

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