Let's Step Outside For A Minute!

posted: Friday, July 17, 2009

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Let's step outside for just a few minutes. In other words, one of the best places to learn about your strengths and weaknesses is through your competition. Far too often salespeople don't see beyond the four walls that they work in for hours every week. This practice can cause a salesperson to sell with blinders on.

The customers are shopping from place to place and see all of the differences between like businesses. To not have the same information, or more, as the potential customers is simply foolish. From the outside looking in I would guess that everyone looks pretty much the same. The real differences become apparent once the door has been opened and the truth is in clear vision. Shop your competition as the customer does, with the intent to buy something. Ask questions to find out what the hot sellers are, look at the pricing structure, and see when they offer a discount. Take notice to whether the presentation is customer driven or if the salesperson is trying to sell you on why they like the product. Make note of the questions that they ask. See if they try to proactively close the sale or attempt to get your name address and phone number. Make an active effort to determine exactly what your competitive advantages are against the competition, or the competitions against your own company.

The name of the game is to stay six months to a year ahead of anything the competition is doing. If you are now the "Top Dog" in the marketplace, I assure you someone at some point will be trying to knock you to second place. I would also assure you that the competition is probably shopping you. Great business people know and understand that the business has to be in a constant state of change in order to remain on top, or to reach the top. I would also encourage you to ask the competition questions about your organization. See what they are saying about you and your company. It may be very enlightening.

There is a wealth of information available to you in the business down the street. There are hundreds if not thousands of things you can learn by keeping an eye ahead of you, behind you and next to you. Lose sight of the competition and chances are they are so far ahead you may never see them again. The lead dog by far has the best position and view. Be the lead dog by stepping outside every now and then!

FINAO - Brad Huisken - President, IAS Training

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