05 Oct Leapfrogging the Rest of the Field
Every company these days needs a competitive advantage. The question is: How do you get one? To have a competitive advantage companies have to find a way to get an edge. You have to be different from your competition. Every advantage counts. If you want to gain that competitive edge you have to have a strategic plan and you have to do your homework.
Nobody gets an edge by resting on their laurels. Similarly, nobody keeps an edge by resting on their laurels. So, how do you do it? Exactly what homework do I suggest you do? Here are a few steps you can take to leapfrog.
First, you have to analyze your target market and understand the competition. Who is buying your product? What is the ideal prospect profile? It’s not easy, but research is required.
Second, as you look at the competition you have to look outside the box and rethink your competition. The days of listing everyone that offers an LOS or an AVM if you’re in that space doesn’t cut it anymore. They’re not all competing with you. And just because you ran into them in a deal five years ago doesn’t mean you’ll run into them today. Companies change.
So, how do you know who your real competitors are? Think about which of those competitors targets your audience? Some of those companies might not be going after your market so even if they do what you do, they’re not true competition.
At the end of the day status quo is often one of the biggest competitor. Prospects chose to do nothing. If that happens, you have no one to blame but yourself. You did not give them a compelling reason why.
You also need to look to see what you can learn from your users. Their feedback should be a resource. You have to ask your current customers questions. I know you want to remain the solution of choice, so you don’t want to seem like there’s anything your solution can’t do, but it’s ok to find out what their needs may be. You must to understand them to retain them as customers.
From there, you also need to eye your competition. Are your competitors dropping the ball in certain areas? If you don’t know what they’re doing how can you get better? Now is certainly not the time to take anything for granted.
Remember, we live in the information age. Use it. As I’ve discussed in past here in this very column, you can use LinkedIn or other forms of social media to your advantage. The tools are there if you use them. Knowledge is power but you have to use it.
It’s important to know that even if you are on top today you may not be tomorrow. Don’t allow yourself to get leapfrogged. In short, you need to learn from everything in the market and use that information. If you do, you’ll gain a competitive advantage.