“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War…
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Even if you have not read the Art of War, this quote is simple enough to understand, if you know your competition (the enemy) and you know yourself (specifically, why you are better) you do not need to be afraid if a hundred customers shop you against your competitors.
So, if according to Sun Tzu, if all a salesperson needs to do is know their competition in order to dominate their market, why don’t they?
I would say the reason most salespeople don’t get to know their competition because of one or all of the following reasons:
In automotive sales you have two main competitors:
See what others are saying about them
The fastest way to learn about your competition is to jump online and search for them. Check out Google and see what comes up. Hit the review sites, such as Google Reviews and Yelp. Find groups and online message boards that discuss your competitors. Also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and other Social Media platforms. It is important to take everything that you find with a grain of salt. Look more for things that happen consistently versus the outliers. Additionally, when you deal with customers that have or plan to shop these competitors ask them questions, like “why are you considering that”, “what do you like about them” and “what don’t you like about them?”
You want to find out what you can about the particulars of what they provide and the strengths and weaknesses of the service. Pay special attention to your competitor’s weaknesses – these will be opportunities for you and your dealership to develop differentiation and competitive advantages.
You will need to do this for both your other Brand competitors as well as other Dealership competitors. And remember, this is not about gathering information so you can bash your competitors, this is about gathering information in order to be better than them.
Go directly to the source
Yes, you can go directly to your competitors and interact with them directly. This is also known as mystery shopping. I would recommend the following Mystery Shops:
I know this seems like a lot of work, however, that is what everything that is worth while is built upon. This could be one of the most valuable lessons you will ever learn in this business. You will not only learn about your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, but you will also learn a few things about your own. I guarantee you will find things the other dealerships do that you do agree with or that does not feel right as a customer and then you will realize that you do those same things with your customers.
However, you go about learning about your competition, compiling information about them will make your sales pitch more effective. You might even find a thing or two that you really like that you can steal. I mean imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Up your game and investment in yourself by learning about your competition.
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