The PR Guru

November 17, 2011

FIVE WAYS TO STAY AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITION

Filed under: Uncategorized — richardswancott @ 10:32 am

We all face competition in our businesses. Some people see this as a threat, something they should try and grind into the dust. Others see it as an opportunity, looking for ways to collaborate (which would make a good subject for a press release by the way).

My own personal view of my competition is we are all good at what we do, but all have something different to offer, and if a prospect decides to use a competitor instead then that is no slight on us. They’ve made that decision because it’s a better fit, or the other firm has other skills/experiences which are more relevant.

Thankfully that doesn’t happen often (I can think of one example in the seven years we’ve been trading), but there’s room for all of us.

I can appreciate that some industries are more cut-throat than the PR industry though, so if you’re in one of those dog-eat-dog sectors these tips will be helpful to you:

BECOME AN INDUSTRY EXPERT

Set yourself apart by turning your experience and/or knowledge to your advantage. Think about blogging on your subject, writing for a local/trade magazine, or organising a radio phone-in with your local station. Giving information away will help you because you’re trying to help people and not selling to them.

BE CREATIVE

Innovate. You need to think laterally and come up with a new idea, or a new way of doing things. You might try viral marketing, or a publicity stunt. Eg if your company is celebrating its 5th birthday, why not throw a 5th birthday party, with Musical Chairs, Pass the Parcel and jelly and ice cream? It will make your company more approachable, and fun to deal with.

ADD VALUE

Never sell on price. It’s just not sustainable, and we’re in business to make a profit, right? Instead offer better value by providing more information, like e-books on your website, or more one-to-one support, or better after-sale service. It will encourage people to use you again, or recommend you to others – even if you are more expensive than the competition.

STUDY THE COMPETITION

Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, and what they’re doing well. It’s ok to borrow ideas! Just make sure you develop them, or add your own twist. Or if they’re doing something badly, learn from their experience.

OFFER MONEY-BACK GUARANTEES

You have experience and knowledge. You have a track record. But what exactly does that mean for your prospects? Put your money where your mouth is, and give them the power. If you have to guarantee customer satisfaction before getting paid, it certainly focusses the mind! And it gives your customer confidence.

We should never be scared of the competition, or obsessed with what they are doing. Focus on what you can offer, and what makes you different, and we can become thrivalists, not survivalists!

Have a great day!

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2 Comments »

  1. … [Trackback]…

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    Trackback by E-bike — November 18, 2011 @ 2:14 am | Reply

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