Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who Every Salesperson’s Biggest Competitor Will Always Be

Many salespeople give a variety of responses when asked, “who is your biggest competitor?” No matter which industry you represent, the answer is always the same to this question. The biggest competitor will always be the status quo, or who the prospect is currently doing business with when it comes to the products or services you represent.

Yes, this means your biggest competitor can be Billy Bob’s shack down the street all the way to a top Fortune 50 company. Don’t assume all big companies do business with other big companies. I’ve been surprised in my sales career to see some very big hitters who are serviced and sold to by relatively small companies.

Knowing who your prospect does business with is obviously very important and is always a priority in the information gathering process. Who your prospect does business with will tell you a lot about them. Assumptions in selling can lead you down a very dreary road and take you off of your game. Always remember that your biggest competitor is not that Fortune 500 Company that you hate running into; it is instead the status quo company that your prospect is currently involved in doing business with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Will,
Very very very true. The biggest competitor is definitely going to be the company/person that your prospect is doing business with.
But I believe there should be a few sets of criteria to be fulfilled to consider them as a 'definite' competitor. One obvious thing could be the quality/price/value factors associated with the competitor's product/service and the second could be the way they do business with the prospect.If from your research you feel that the competitor falls short in both these criteria then you should be looking for the next 'big' competitor which is obviously someone who is doing business with a customer similar to your prospect in the same market and who has a better chance on taking you head to head. Expecting your cents on this.