Whether you are just starting in sales or have been around the block a few times you realize there are always competitors nipping at your heels. These competitors are grabbing for your customers and clients. It’s part of doing business.
The big question is, do you know the top three to five strongest competitors and any effective marketing and sales strategy or tactic they use that you don’t? Do you know their strengths and weaknesses?
If you can answer the above questions, stop reading! You don’t need these upcoming ideas. If you do need help answering the above questions, please keep reading and discover ways to legally spy on your competitors without them ever knowing.
First, there’s a tool sitting on your desk, in your pocket or in your hand right now that can provide you massive competitive intelligence.
You know the object that weights a ton when you go to make sales calls.
Well your telephone has another function. Pick it up and dial your competitor’s office. Ask to speak to the sales department. Pose as a new customer looking for information. If you’re concerned you’ll be discovered, ask a friend or colleague to help.
Ask five or ten questions about your competitor’s products and services. Listen closely to the answers. The answers you hear will tell you how your competitor sells. What they are offering. Take good notes. If you can, order their products and services. See how they handle your order and follow-up to that order. You’ll learn a ton of valuable information you can use to out market and sell them.
Second, another is a tool sitting on your desk or in your hand right now, your computer or smart phone. It can also provide a bird’s eye view of how your competitors market and sell on the Internet. Search for known and unknown competitors. Go to their Websites. Dig deep; you may discover a list of clients and new or old press releases about a product and services offered.
You’ll learn how your competitor markets its identity (positioning) compared to yours. Digging around, you may find a better way to present your website or see a few mistakes your competitor is making. Surf around, read their marketing copy, read their testimonials, listen to their podcasts and watch their videos. You’ll be shocked and amazed at the wealth of information you can find on your competitors websites.
Now, while on your competitor’s websites, also view a few web pages source code. You can find it your browser menu by clicking on “View” then “Page Source.” Look for the Meta tags, they look a bit like this:
Meta name =”keywords” content=”advertising, Internet marketing, marketing plans, business plans, planning, marketing, PR, public relations”
Meta name =”description” content=”Providing Internet marketing, offline marketing, advertising and marketing plans to successful business owners”
These are the keywords and description that your competitors are using to attract visitors to their website. Next, look at those same Meta tags of your website. What’s the same? What’s different? What should you be adding, deleting to your website to make it competitive with your competitor’s website.
Also take the keywords and keyword phrases you find and do an Internet search and see how many more competitors pop up. Search Facebook®, LinkedIn® and Twitter®. It will lead you to many of the ways your competitors are marketing and selling on the Internet.
Next step, anytime you win over one of your competitor’s customers, ask them about your competitors. What they like or disliked. What they could have done better. Why they switched to you and not another competitor. What they tell you may be very revealing and can be used to improve your products, services and marketing.
OK, now you have a few simple tools to go out and compete on a level playing field. Take advantage of the many resources at your fingertips and learn more about your competitors. Use the information you find to outwit even the most formidable competitor in their own backyard. Have fun hunting, spying and discovering.
Remember now, that you have the stronger marketing mindset. Now that you know how to research your products and services and your competitor’s products and services you owe it to yourself to try these ideas, and next are a few low cost marketing ideas that almost any sales professional can profit by using.