Introduction to Competition

Quick Summary: Competition comes from a variety of sources and needs to be considered in every sales opportunity.


Principle One of this series is “Stay in Business.” As part of that obviously important factor, the observation is made that someone will put you out of business.  It could be you, by obsoleting your current product with a new version or changing your focus, or it could be the result of someone else’s actions.  This chapter deals with “someone else,” your external competitors.  Those competitors could actually be your prospects, deciding to spend their money on something else, it could be your existing, known competitors, or new competitors just entering your market.  Although, almost by default, prospects and vendors focus on price. In reality, price is seldom the most important factor.

Unlike the other chapters in this section, this subject is generally treated as part of other topics including strategy, sales, or marketing.  In fact, all of the articles in this section could have easily been placed in one or more of those chapters.  Similarly, many of the articles in those chapters could have just as easily been placed in this one.  In today’s fast-moving business environment, competition is everywhere and impacts virtually every aspect of business.  The articles in this section describe techniques that can be used in any and all disciplines throughout the company.

Below is a list of the section’s articles in this chapter along with brief summaries of each.  As with any chapter in this collection, the articles can be read in any order.  As mentioned above, articles that directly or indirectly discuss competition and competitive techniques can be found throughout all of the other chapters in this entire Volume.


Chapter Sections and Summaries

  1. Identification
Make a wide-angle view when surveying the market for actual and potential competitors.  The real danger may not be obvious.
  1. Positioning

Determine how to set the rules of engagement in your favor.  A direct, frontal attack should be used only as a last resort.

  1. The Battle

Your competitors are just as competitive as you are and are developing challenges to win with the same intensity that you have.

Chapter Articles and Summaries

Introduction to Competition

Competition is everywhere, is relentless and needs to be considered in every aspect of the business.

Your Biggest Competitor

Gaining a prospect’s attention is the most challenging competitor you will face.

Don't Be an Ostrich

Be careful not to ignore potential negative outcomes because it may be uncomfortable.

Don't Be Rip Van Winkle

From a business perspective, you are driving on ice and fast. Anticipate events to survive.

Encroachment by Others

Many companies fail due to their unawareness of new competitive threats from unlikely sources.

What's Behind the Curtain?

The Internet is truly only two-dimensional, exposing only what site authors want you to see.

Size Doesn’t Matter, or Does It?

The same facts can be used for or against you.  Interpret them for others first.

Disarm Them

Avoid fair, competitive fights by finding ways to disarm your competitors.

Speed Kills

 Stay buried in the pack and then, when the timing is right, sprint for the finish line.

Beware of the Blender

Avoid attempting to meet all competitive challenges at the same time with the same offering.

Make it Easy

Set your company apart by being easy to do business with.

Pick the Field and Time

You may not be able to control the sales opportunity, but you can choose how to compete.

The Logic of Illogical Acts

A competitor’s seemingly illogical acts may be totally logical to them based on their motives.

Avoid Black Eyes

Look carefully for root causes in all encounters to identify subtle but serious weaknesses.

Don't Go Quietly

When in a losing competitive situation, focus on what is best for the customer not you.


Article Number : 5.070101   

A Handy Reference Guide for Executives and Managers at All Levels.

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