Your Competitor or Your Competition: What’s The Difference?

For years since you began your sales career you have been encouraged to know who your competitors are. Fair enough. I am glad my early mentors had my best interest in mind and drove the point home that I had to know my product offering and my competitors in order to sell effectively. They were right!

How about you? This is what this is all about – your success.

Is there a difference between your competitor and your competition? My handy dictionary states that both are rivals. Some feel that competitor is single and competition is plural. In short a true competitor, your true competitor has your number. They match your skill set. They match your organization’s product offering. In fact, your customer or prospect can not tell the true difference. The only deciding factor is you!

As you research your ideal clients accomplishments and key events, take just as much time to study your true competitor whether they are the incumbent or your arch rival competing for the same dollar and market share that you are. You know who they are. You pass them in the lobby of your ideal prospect, you see them at the trade shows, and may even be on the same 6:00 a.m. flight.

As you prepare for your initial contact with your ideal client, or are progressing through the buying cycle ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are the needs of my ideal client?
  2. Who is the incumbent? Who is also competing for this opportunity as well?
  3. Where are the gaps in their offering?
  4. How can I leverage my strengths to capitalize on their weakness(s)?

So, is there a difference between your competitor and your competition? You bet there is and the following example shared many years ago holds true today.

If you get up and go to work everyday, you will outsell 50% of your competition. If you know your product, you will outsell 75% of your competition. If you know your product and the competitors product, you will outsell 90% of your competition. The last 10% is a match of both will and skill. They want it just as bad as you do. They will work just as hard, prepare just as hard and leverage every resource available. This person or organization is your true competitor and that is the difference!

To your success,


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