Can you imagine living in a non-competitive environment?
Just think about how this would affect the way you run your company. You would have only one paper supplier. Just one press supplier. No choice of transport, power or consumables suppliers.
That is bad news for you as a buyer. But for the seller it’s great! Or is it?
Competition is healthy for the seller
For one thing, it fosters a culture of continuous improvement. You are forced to get better at what you do in order to keep up with or stay ahead of your competitors. This means you stay relevant to your customers. They continue to see a need for your services. Would people use as much print today if you were still printing on paper and presses using technology from 20 years ago or more?!
The other advantage of competition is that it shows you are in a marketplace that is still relevant. Fortunately, that is still definitely the case for print.
Who are your competitors?
It is worth giving this careful consideration. A few years ago it used to be other printing companies in your neighborhood. These days, location is less of an issue. Your competitor is just as likely to be an internet-based company.
Naturally, not all companies look the same. Which are the ones that are similar to you? Which ones offer the same products and services to the same type of customer that you deal with? These are the ones that you should be keeping an eye on.
Your competitors may not even be printing companies. Who else is after the same budgets of your customers? Are you in the business of selling direct mail? Then your competitors are just as likely to be e-mail marketing companies.
Your competitors provide you with a trail of useful information
Here are just some of the things that you should know about your competitors:
- What are they selling?
Are they offering products and services that you don’t? Should you be offering these services?
- How are they selling it?
What is their message? What are their sales channels? What can you learn from this?
- Who are they selling it to?
What type of customer seems to be buying these services? Are you selling to the same type of client? Are you targeting the right prospects?
This information is vital to the wellbeing of your company
Having the right knowledge about your competitors will challenge you and help you to develop. You should be reviewing what other companies are doing regularly. Do you have a monthly meeting set aside for this?
It’s all very well having the desire to review what your competition is doing. But how do you actually find out about your competitors? I’ll be covering this in my next article.
*Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on scouting your competition, and becoming more successful in the process:
- 3 Things You Should Know About Your Competitors
- How to Learn More about your Competitors
- How to Differentiate yourself (and Make Money Doing it)
- 5 Ways to Make your Company Stand Out to Prospects
PS If you’d like more practical ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers, download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively.