posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013

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Over the past few weeks we've been reviewing some of the basics of sales and customer service, and we continue with that today. It's easy to get caught up in what we are doing on a day to day basis, but we operate in a competitive field. If we are going to thrive in that environment, then we have to have at least an idea of what our competitors are doing.

The process does not have to be difficult or even time consuming; actually it can be easy and fun if you want it to be. Whenever you are out shopping, just stop at one of your competitors. Walk through the store, get an idea of product placement, and gauge their level of customer service. It can be a very informal process or it can be very involved, it's really up to you. Scouting your competition is not always about seeing what they are doing; it can also make you a better salesperson.

If you see a salesperson that is doing something that is effective, then there's nothing wrong with trying to incorporate it into your presentation. There's a reason the NFL is called the copycat league, it's because coaches see something that works for one team and then they will try to work it into their schemes.

You may not copy a technique exactly but some of what another salesperson does might work for you. It's also possible that you might see a product placement idea that you had never thought of before.

In addition to getting ideas, it is also quite possible that what you are doing on an everyday basis will be enhanced. You may see some things and say, "Wow, I appreciate what we do even more."

It doesn't even have to be a direct competitor for you to get an idea of good and bad, especially as it relates to customer service. You may be out to eat with friends and have a waiter who just hits it out of the park with their customer service, and that may give you some ideas the next time you are making a presentation.

The idea of scouting your competitors is not to point out what they are doing wrong or to prove you are better. The idea is in order for you to be the best salesperson you can be, seeing what others do can be a valuable tool in that pursuit.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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