Your Top Competitor

Do you know who your top competitor is?

Many sales and marketing teams closely keep tabs on their competitors. Watching how they promote themselves, the features and benefits they showcase, and the ongoing developments of their offering.

After all, isn’t this who your prospect is going to be comparing you against? Maybe not…

Your top competitor probably isn’t who you think it is. Your toughest competitor is usually the status quo.

It’s the current solution, product, or state that your prospect is already operating with. It’s against the status quo that every competitive solution will ultimately be compared with.

Why the Status Quo is so Tough

The status quo is comfortable. It’s the devil you know. It represents certainty in an uncertain world.

And don’t forget, change is hard. Change takes time. Change that goes wrong represents career and financial risk for your prospect.

One of the strongest psychological drivers in humans is loss aversion. We hate having to take a loss in our lives. When you are asking your prospect to buy your solution, you are asking them to risk a potential loss (whether it’s time, money, or both).

The status quo, while not ideal, is something that already exists. So your goal is to beat the status quo as part of your sales and marketing strategy.

3 Tips for Beating the Status Quo

Newton’s first law of motion is the Law of Inertia. It states, “A body remains at rest, or in motion at a constant speed in a straight line, unless acted upon by a force.” Your prospect’s business is like Newton’s first law… it will keep doing what it’s doing unless it’s acted upon with force.

With the right approach, you can overcome the status quo inertia, and keep your sales process moving with your prospect in the right direction.

Here are three tips for beating the status quo:

  1. Address Fear and Anxiety – Your prospect likely has concerns with implementing a new solution or buying your product. These fears and anxieties are being weighed against the potential features and benefits that you are proposing. As part of your messaging, be sure to proactively address the fears and concerns that your prospect has.
  2. Create Urgency – If the status quo is comfortable, why change? You need to create a sense of urgency for the prospect. You need to make the status quo uncomfortable. Help them understand what happens if they don’t change. Help them make change a priority.
  3. Sell the Business Drivers – What you are selling has to be aligned with the business drivers of your prospect. These can be areas like cost savings, productivity gains, skill enhancement, compliance, customer retention, revenue generation, etc.. You need to demonstrate how your solution can better perform in the areas that are core value drivers for your prospect.

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