When there are only 24 hours in a day, your emails have piled up, and you’re just sitting down to work on last week’s projects, competitor research is probably the furthest thing from your mind.
After all, if you can only do so much in a day, why wouldn’t you spend that time analyzing and optimizing your own business? Why would you focus on your competitors? It’s not like you can control what they’re doing anyway.
True, you can’t control your competition, but it is worth the time to do competitor research consistently throughout the year for these three reasons.
1) It Opens Up New Opportunities In The Market
Competitor research can actually make finding new opportunities easier. The more you know about your competitors, the easier it is to identify your place in the market.
Just by doing some surface-level research, you should be able to determine what segment of the market your competitors are targeting and what type of customers they are looking to attract. Once you identify these things for your top competitors, you’ll be able to see where there are empty slots in the market that you can capitalize on.
2) It Allows You To Learn From Mistakes You Didn’t Make
Scanning through opinion blogs or review sites, or even turning to social media to see what customers are complaining about, is all it takes to dig up a few mistakes your competitors have made in the past.
Think of one of the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made as a salesperson.
Now think about how much time and effort you could have saved had you known how to avoid that mistake.
Taking the time to research and then learn from a competitor’s mistake could save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
3) It Shows You Whom Your Customers Are Dealing With
If you already know what products your competitors have developed, what deals or promotions they typically offer, or what their general sales strategy is, you can use those bits of information to provide even more value to your customers.
For example, if you see that a competitor just developed this hot new product that is potentially going to grab the market’s attention, you can tailor your sales strategy in anticipation of this product to proactively show customers that you still provide the better value.
Sometimes your competitors can be your best friends by revealing information that can help your own sales strategy.
How often do you do competitor research?