We all need to be on top of our game or sink without trace. Am I being dramatic? I think not.
Competition is fierce; ruthless. It spans the globe, as you well know. Virtually any product can now be bought from almost anywhere in the world and shipped within minutes.
If you are in the service industry (Like I am) technology means that almost any service can be done from anywhere in the world.
A lot of my clients are from Malaysia, South America, USA, Singapore and Australia.
With this in mind, it is critically important you get one question right. And the answer better be compelling. If it isn't, then you will lose out to your competition.
The One Question...
Now we all have competition for our products or services whether it is direct or indirect. There are other businesses who will snatch customers away from us in the blink of an eye. 'Loyal' customers will jump to the next person, product or service without remorse.
Customers will choose, when those million results show up, the one that is, first - faster - only - better - cheaper (Although not everyone will buy on price. I blogged about that before here)
So you need your answer, like I have already said, to be as compelling as possible.
The one question we must get the answer right to is this:
"Our (My) customers buy from us (me) because....."
Yes, you will know this answer as your competitive advantage. But have you answered it in a compelling way?
This answer will determine whether or not you get more sales or business than your competition. It's common sense right? It sure is. But you might be surprised at how many entrepreneurs who may know what that answer is if you ask them, that don't highlight it enough.
Their potential customers just fail to see or hear it.
(Some entrepreneurs, believe it or not, miss it altogether. This is not always their fault. Sometimes it can be a case of not seeing the wood for the trees)
My answer to this question is (For coaching entrepreneurs):
"My customers buy from me because I have a proven track record of making millions for some and taking others to unrivalled levels of success they hadn't previously enjoyed or thought possible"
Taking this further it reads,
"My customers buy from me because I have a proven track record of making millions for some entrepreneurs in the self-improvement industry and taking others to unrivalled levels of success they hadn't previously enjoyed or thought possible"
This is simply narrowing down which customers, specifically, you serve.
And Your Answer is?
So what is your answer to this question? What will encourage your potential customers to choose you and what you offer over your competition?
Please don't take this answer lightly. And it can change over time slightly, like mine did.
We are living in an ever changing world that is changing at rapid speed. Competition can spring up from nowhere overnight. So even if you are totally unique, don't get complacent.
As Andy Grove, the co-founder of Intel once said,
Only the paranoid survive
He is referring to the amount of competition we all have in this new and sometimes overcrowded, loud business world that is constantly increasing with new competition.
As entrepreneurs we all need to stay on top of our competitive advantage, keep it updated as we progress and get better; and, most importantly, ensure that message gets across.
We must be seeking to see what we can improve.
Adaptability, continuous learning and flexibility are key traits to be highly successful in today's business world. And now more than ever, our competitive advantage must be clear and compelling.
If you want to beat your competition of course.