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A Thing Scope out the Competition

Scope Out the Competition

Did you attend the ETA meeting in Chicago? Did your competitors? What did their booth look like? Were they offering any freebies or trade show specials? Did they sponsor any of the events? Did they host any meetings or seminars?

If you don’t know the answer to all these questions, you missed an opportunity. Where else can you gain full access to your competitors? Trade shows are an excellent venue to scope out the competition and it doesn’t have to be undercover or sneaky. Walk right up to the booth, introduce yourself if you like. Take some brochures. Sit in on sponsored events and meetings. You will learn about your competition, your industry, and you might even spark a relationship with a colleague. In this era of “coopetition” relationships are one of our most valuable assets.

But, now that the ETA is over it’s not too late. Scan the Web for your competitors’ press releases. Bookmark their Internet sites, use your browsers’ “news tracking” feature and scan the Web weekly for new announcements. Use this data to determine their strengths and weaknesses and how your product measures up to theirs.

Keep files of your competitors’ information. You can either make hard copy files or bookmark the data. (Watch for future information on the eGem product which can help you track and store this data from the Web.)

You might even get some ideas about cooperative efforts. Think about it. If your competitor sells a similar product and has a survey showing that consumers want that product, you could use that data. Perhaps you have some research that you would like to swap for some of your competitor’s data?

Increasing your knowledge about your competitors will help you become a more knowledgeable and effective sales professional while also making you more valuable to your company. You can’t lose!

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