How to use LinkedIn to find your competitor’s key customers

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How to use LinkedIn to find your competitor’s key customers

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for businesses seeking an edge over their competitors. With the right approach, it can be used to identify and connect with a competitor’s key customers. Networking through LinkedIn helps you gain insights into what your competitors are doing. And how they engage with their customers. This is the first of many articles to give our readers real-life tips from people who do competitive intelligence for a living. LinkedIn is a handy platform for competitive intelligence and market intelligence too. And it has grown immeasurably since we first came across it in the mid-2000s. This article has been written based on the analysis we have conducted for years. It shows one way how to use LinkedIn to find your competitor’s key customers.

It’s something we can do for you as part of a project, or you can do it yourself. There are also more standard ways of Using LinkedIn for Researching Your Competitors. The power of LinkedIn is well known. Get past the ChatGPT gurus who were NFT gurus last year and the lead generators wanting to transform your business overnight it’s a great tool. But you know this. So, what?

Posts and salespeople putting achievements on their profits are excellent for competitor research. It can paint an excellent picture of what’s going on. But there is more you can do with it. Something adopted from traffic analysis created by Gordon Welshman of Bletchley Park fame. A man was just as important as Alan Turing but less well-known. 

Who are their customers?

Using Linkedin to get an idea of your competitors’ primary customers can be very useful.

Now, we are not saying this is a foolproof process, and it will be 100% correct. Nothing in Intelligence is 100% certain. If you want 100% certainty, you need a historian, not a competitive intelligence analyst. Or market intelligence expert. Even then, the history is written by the winners and all their biases. 

Connect with your competitors on LinkedIn. Yes, this is easier for a third party to do for you, as many will be reluctant to accept, but you will be surprised how many do. 

Follow this process

  1. When they accept your invitation to look at who they are connected to, many don’t hide connections with which you are not mutually connected. 
  2. Put their connections onto a spreadsheet, making a note of the person, job title and company.
  3. Repeat this process as many times as possible.
  4. Once you have many contacts connections, put them onto a single sortable spreadsheet. 
  5. Sort the data by company.
  6. Count the number of contacts at each company. 
  7. Make a note of the companies that appear on a number of competitors’ connections.
  8. Look at each potential competitor’s customer separately and try and disprove any connections. Many individuals may have worked for that company. Or your competitor may have bought that company. So it would help if you did more research. 
  9. Look to isolate the decision makers within the competitor’s customer. Does your other research and sales records agree?
  10. Look at what they are saying to each other publically and who they are endorsing skills.

It’s not bulletproof

How to use LinkedIn to find your competitor’s key customers can be helped by some excellent software out there to make this task so much easier. But Linkedin doesn’t like them, so we, of course, don’t use them. 

You have to be subjective, and it isn’t bulletproof. For instance, your competitors’ sales teams may connect to target prospective customers. But if you have to, say, 12 to 20 contacts from a single company connected to multiple people within your competitor. If you cannot rule them, you have a good sign that they could be a competitor’s customer. 

Assign a probability rating

Further research away from Linkedin is needed to confirm your analysis further. Now you will have a list of potential competitor customers. It’s time to assign the probability rating to each one. Forty-five connections and some verification off Linkedin could be a 95% chance, and five connections with some indication of Linkedin could be a 5-10% chance. And here is another article that could be of interest. How To Use Competitive Pricing Analysis To Connect With Your Customers

Increase your certainty

We know some will dismiss this as inaccurate. But it’s better to have some knowledge of what may be happening than nothing at all. Keep researching, and doing this will only increase your certainty. Or reject it and move on.

How to use LinkedIn to find your competitor’s key customers.

In conclusion, using LinkedIn to find your competitors’ customers can be a great way to get ahead. It’s important to remember that finding key customers is more than just a numbers game; it requires critical thinking, research, and trial and error. Using traffic analysis like this will give you an idea of your competitors’ customers. And you know, in our experience, we are more right than wrong. 

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What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

How to Find Your Competitor’s Key Customers

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What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

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