This article is called Competitive Intelligence thinking go for when up against a competitor. You are sitting in your office with your sales director. She tells you that a competitor is telling clients that their new product is game-changing. Their latest product is far superior to yours. First of all, you need to keep an open and transparent mind. And use Competitive Intelligence thinking.
What is Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive intelligence is the finding, sorting and critical analysis of information. To make sense of what’s happening and why. Predict what’s going to happen and give the options to help you control the outcome. Competitive intelligence offers certainty, competitive advantage, insight, growth & security. Competitive Intelligence helps you avoid surprises. Think more moves ahead, minimise uncertainty, differentiate and stay ahead of the competition. It’s an unspoken, hidden key to success.
Truth or lie?
Is your competitor telling the truth? Or are they lying or exaggerating to make you panic and be uncertain? To knock you off your pedestal or something more?
If they lied, it would expose them to your client and the market. Was it a planned strategic lie to undermine your product? Were their words designed to make you do something to retaliate? What do you think they would want you to do?
Or were their claims more emotional, spur of the moment accident to protect their product’s reputation, and counter your strengths and excellent product? This situation can be risky as you could be tempted to do something spontaneous. But were the claims true or a lie?
Why would they lie to a prospective customer? What was their thinking behind it? What was their strategy? Now you need to use your Intelligence based thinking to create an understanding of their strategy.
You know the action – To make a claim about their product and how much better it will be than yours.
Decision – What made them decide they were going to make this claim?
Analysis – What choices did they have to make? What analysis have they undertaken to make their decision?
Information – What information would your competitor need to analyse the situation to make the decision? What information did they analyse to conclude that their product will be better than yours?
In the meantime, conduct Competitive Intelligence against them to see if they are telling the truth. To determine what is so good about the new product. If the competitor was lying or telling the truth, you might want to do something about it.
Once you have stepped back in your thinking, it’s time to decide what to do. Ask yourself what results did your competitor expect to achieve from their actions?
What was their intent? Understand their intent will offer insight into what they are going to do next. Understand what they are going to do next allows you to decide what your next move will be.
You have several options for what they will do. So, in turn, you can develop a number of actions that they could do. Are the actions predictable to enable you to build a strategic response?
If they do A, we will do X, and they do B, we will do why. We will only do X if Y happens.
Who throws the first punch?
The biggest issue now is to decide on one thing. Do you strike first or wait for them to strike. Do you wait for them to do something or get your punch in early?
To help you decide on your subsequent actions, you need to understand:
- Was it a lie?
- Do they know you know?
- The technical details and benefits of any new product
- When are they likely to launch a new product?
Competitive Intelligence thinking to go for when up against a competitor
This article is called Competitive Intelligence thinking to go for when up against a competitor. Hopefully, the article has provided you with food for thought. Should you have any questions, please get in touch below.