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This episode is a business coaching course that talks about the competitive advantage.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • 14 Ways To Increase Sales: 3. Know your competitive advantage
  • Notable Quotable: "Study your company and your products and services in relation to what your competitors offer. Know where and how you stand out, and where you don't. Be prepared to discuss these comparisons at any moment." - Relationship Selling: The Eight Competencies of Top Sales Producers
  • Notable Quotable: "If you don't know what your edge is then you can't emphasize that edge."
  • Action Step : Find out who your top competitors are and determine what they do well.
  • Action Step : Make a spreadsheet of the things you do well and the things your competitors do well and compare them.
  • Recommended Reading: Be Your Own Sales Manager: Strategies and Tactics For Managing Your Accounts, Your Territory, and Yourself - Tony Alessandra, Jim Cathcart, and John Monoky

-Now point number three, super move number three, know your competitive advantage. Now you write here, study your company and your products and services in relation to what your competitors offer. Know where and how you stand out, and where you don't. Be prepared to discuss these comparisons at any moment. Jim, unload the truth cannon, my friend.

[LAUGHTER]

-Most people don't know beans about their competition, because they don't take time to study them. They figure, if I've got my stuff together, why would I would want to bother learning about them? But there are parts of your competitors that are better than what you've got to offer. Almost always. And if you don't know what your edge is, then you can't emphasize that edge.

So I would say, analyze your top competitors. Find out who your top two or three competitors are, who people think about instead of you or in addition to you. And find out what they really do well. And don't try to run your competitor down so that the customer likes you better. Recognize and acknowledge what the competitor does well, and then build up what you do even better.

-I want to give an example of this real quick. I worked with a cosmetic surgeon years ago--

-You worked as a cosmetic--

-Yeah, a few years ago, I was hacking away on people. I just tried-- read a couple books about Maslow and I started doing some surgery.

-Why not? I've got a knife.

-So no, I was working with this cosmetic surgeon. And what we did is we sent in a friend of his to mystery shop the competition. To go in for appointments. And now--

JIM CATHCART: That's an excellent idea, by the way. Mystery shopping.

-They did not go in and schedule multiple reconstructive surgeries. No, they just-- they went in and they did the appointment-- they found out that one--

[LAUGHTER]

JIM CATHCART: I'm sorry.

-Are you thinking of Michael Jackson?

JIM CATHCART: The person comes back, (MUMBLING) hey, the competition is really not good at jaws.

-Rumor has it, this is how Michael Jackson got started. He just was mystery shopping for competitors.

-I actually know the brother of the surgeon that did Michael Jackson.

-Really?

-I do.

-Is he see confident in his surgery abilities?

-He fired Michael Jackson and Michael went to another surgeon. Because Michael was doing too much of it.

-Well, I want to-- so this person, they'd go into the cosmetic surgery place, and they go in, and there is one-- and this just speaks to your system-- they go in and the sales consultant actually sits down with them and goes over and says, OK. I have a checklist I want to go through.

When was the last time you had your skin tested for age spots or moles, cancerous moles? And then they go, I haven't done that. When was the last time that you-- when was the last time that you-- have you qualified to see if you qualify for CareCredit, which is a kind of financing? No.

Well they go through this and at the end of it, she goes, the mystery shopper comes back to us and says, we need to do this. They're pre-qualifying people. And she goes, at the end of that evaluation, I almost scheduled my mole screening right there. Because I felt like-- they took that and we brought it back to our office.

And we realized, OK, we're doing really good in this area and we're beating them in this area. But they are really beating us on the presentation. They have a checklist, they have a system. So I think this is really, really a huge-- I mean, this is a huge idea if we do this.

-It is. Plus, think about that specific example. What it was doing was revealing to the customer, in his or her own mind and words, why they should buy your services. So that kind of a questionnaire process is a revelation of need, basically.

-I want to ask you this question, because I think there's Thrivers who are probably thinking this. So I'm going to ask you the devil's advocate. somebody So many self help gurus say, the only competition you have is yourself. I mean, at the end of the day, only competition you have is yourself. And I think maybe philosophically, you might agree a certain point.

-Yeah, I get where they're going.

-But what do you get to the guy who says-- well the guy's watching right now. It's probably not a guy. It's probably not a Thriver, it's someone else.

-A guy is not gender.

-There you go. They're just saying, hey, my biggest competition's myself, Jim. What would you say to that?

-I would say, then beat your competition. Not with a stick. But outperform the person that you're competing with. That wouldn't work. I wouldn't worry about that.

-So action items right now. Just make sure that you check out your competition. At least your top three competitors, and I know what they do.

And I recommend making a spreadsheet of the benefits, of the things they do better than you. Or the things they do, and then the things you do, and compare them.

-Well, and you can look at the sales cycle, look at what I call the eight competencies in the sales cycle, and use that as your checklist. What do they do in preparation? What do they do in targeting the right customers What do they do in assessing the needs and connecting with the customer?

What do they do in solving their problem and showing the solutions? What do they do in confirming the sale? What do they do in assuring satisfaction? What do they do in managing sales and managing salespeople?

-I encourage you guys right now, within the next 72 hours, do this. Make a spreadsheet and list all your competitors' things they do well, all the things you do well, and begin to compare that. And that will actually change your business when you become aware of your strengths, your weaknesses. You have to know it.

-Tony Alessandra and I-- Dr. Tony Alessandra and I-- wrote a book together years ago called how to "Be Your Own Sales Manager." It's still in print, and it has some exercise sheets, worksheets in there specifically on that. So look it up. It's probably available on Amazon. "Be Your Own Sales Manager" by Jim Cathcart and Tony Alessandra.

-"Be Your Own Sales Manager."

-And I think we had Doctor John Monoky as our third co-author in there.

-I'm going to make sure that we put the book cover up on the screen here. We'll make sure we put a link to so you can find it easily there, Thrivers.

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