Two Ideas for Dealing With Competition

competition relationships Aug 18, 2017

Two Ideas to Gain An Advantage Over The Competition In Sales

Did you like my Wisdom?  If so, please share it with your friends and colleagues so they can learn how to rise above the competition in sales and live the sames success you're enjoying today.  -Matt


If you don't have competition in sales there are likely only two reasons.

  1. You have an idea that is so cutting edge no one has come after it yet.
  2. You have an idea that no one sees a reason to come after at all.

In the first scenario, don't worry as you find success the competitors will come.  In the second...well...lets all observe a moment of silence, as well as apologize, for buggy whip makers everywhere.

Gosh darn fancy new fangled automobiles!

Here's the truth, there are people out there who want your customers, and more than likely you are after their's as well.  It's one of the axioms of being a business owner.  

As true as I've found that to be, then why aren't we better prepared to deal with competitors?

Here are a couple of different ideas for you to try.

Go one step further

The internet is a wonderful place and the source of a lot of the current competitive research happening today.  Raise your hand if your primary tool for figuring out how you win is going on your competitions website and looking into their product, services, and if your lucky, pricing.  If their website or social media presence are well designed you can usually get a feel for their value proposition as well.  Now I don't want to discount the value of this information.  It all matters, and without it your business can't know how to compete much less win.  Period.  But here's what happens when you stop at product, price, and positioning; price tends to be where we choose to compete, and that's a game which is seldom a long term winner.

When I was in banking I spent several years working in a community of less that 20,000 people that had 13 different competing financial institutions in the market.  To say it was hyper competitive is an understatement.  Yet somehow we managed to be one of the top branches in the company every year.  How did we do it?  I worked for one of the "big banks" so it certainly wasn't on price.  It's financial services, so most of our products were pretty much the same.  Sure there were some minor differences and perks, but for the most part a loan is a loan and a checking account is a checking account.  We also couldn't out community the banks and credit unions that had the community name in theirs.  We didn't have the budget for it, and we didn't pretend to try.  But we won, over and over again, and we did it by digging a little deeper.  We went beyond knowing their pricing and products inside and out, and started figuring out the people they had selling them as well.  And believe it or not, it worked.  By realizing we were competing with people as well as their products we could position ourselves to take advantage of holes in their approach.  By doing this we frequently were able to relegate pricing to a secondary consideration, and that was usually all the opening we needed.

Ask a better question

There are two questions I consistently discuss when coaching clients through gaining an advantage over competition in sales.

  1. What do you like about your current?
  2. What would you change?

While they may sound simple, these are both questions that frequently take people by surprise.  Largely because, I imagine it's not really something most of us consider on a day to day basis.  I honestly couldn't have told you off the top of my head why I love my Volkswagen if you had asked me.  At least not until I had thought about it for a moment.

I would like to point out a few things.

  • The first question can be easily adjusted to any number of situations.  For example, tell me what you like about the other offers you are considering?
  • Imagine the powerful information that you can get by asking this question, not the least of which is you now know exactly what you need to have or keep doing, or do more of to earn their business!  What most sales people wouldn't give to have that clearly stated.
  • Please take note I'm not asking "what don't you like" or "what would you do differently" for the second question.  When trying to take customers from the competition in sales, you are frequently asking someone to end an established relationship.  By focusing on the opportunity to make improvements to their current situation, I have found people to be much more willing to talk it through.
  • Sometimes by simply asking these questions, people are able to verbalize the reasons they are seeking to make change in the first place which will only help your cause if you listen and engage in the conversation.

It's easier than you think

Competition in sales rarely gets ignored by business owners.  We all have to deal with it, and we all do on some level.  Next time you are facing a stiff challenge in the market make sure to understand not only the business you are facing, but it's people as well.  By asking the right questions that allow you to attack the holes in their approach, and gain the information you need to position yourself as a welcome solution, they won't know what hit them.

Good luck in growing your business.

Thank you,


Matt Middendorp is a nationally acclaimed speaker and sales coach with over 20 years of experience turning connections into customers and advocates.  In 2013, Matt founded Sales Math, and debuted his “Formula for Success” sales training system to bankers across the country.  From the beginning, Matt’s clients have experienced learning that is fun, meaningful, and makes a difference in the real world.  Today, Matt’s core philosophies of “Learn Together, Do Together, Grow Together” are taught through in-person coaching, online as part of the Cool Bankers Academy, and by his leadership of the Cool Bankers Club Facebook Group.  His clients are making millions based on the confidence and skills gained from learning a sales process tailored to their individual personalities and businesses.  For information about training and workshops visit, call (715) 897-0879, or email Matt personally at [email protected]

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