Strive to Identify Competitors’ Weaknesses

We sometimes get overly concerned about what our competitors are doing. Maybe what they’re not doing may matter more.

Why What They’re Not Doing?

In the blog Don’t Attack Your Competitors’ Strengths we looked briefly at why attacking strengths may not be such a great idea, especially if your competitors are much larger. One example was trying to compete on prices with a large company that has far more purchasing power. That is generally a losing proposition.

What to Do Instead

Rather that attacking your competitors’ strengths you are more likely to be successful if you try to identify what they do not do well. In other words, strive to identify competitors’ weaknesses. No matter how big a company is there are always things that they do poorly. Perhaps that big competitor that would crush your company in a price war does a lousy job with customer service. Perhaps they are not good at answering customers’ question on a pre-sale or post-sale basis. Perhaps they do a poor job of follow up on sales, and because of that their customers feel like they don’t matter and the seller misses out on critical information and hidden opportunities.

An Example

On a personal level I experienced some problems with my home air conditioning. At first I had one of the larger service providers take a look at it. They gave me a quote for a new system and really showed no interest in ways to make the old system work longer. After they left I found a small service provider who took a more personal and nuanced approach to meeting my needs. He understood I did not want to make a large expenditure on a new unit at that time and that it was more than just the cost. After some discussion he gave me a couple of options that would save me several thousand dollars. Needless to say he got my business, and when I needed a little routine service the next year he was the one I called. You see, he knew that as a smaller company it was imperative that he strive to identify competitors’ weaknesses if his company was going to be able to survive.

There are so Many Weaknesses

You may be saying to yourself, “Fine, that may be true in that case, but our industry is different.” While that is possible I suspect the real issue is that you need to take the time to analyze your competition and see what they do well and what they don’t do so well. You can interview some of their customers as one way to do this. If there are online reviews for them then you can find a wealth of information on where they fall short.

Remember, no company is perfect and has weak spots. You stand to benefit greatly if you strive to identify competitors’ weaknesses and act on that knowledge.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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