Know your Competition!

In sales, one of the most important and strategic advantages that you can give yourself, is to know your competition. More specifically:

  • Who are they?

  • What share of the market do they hold?

  • How are they performing?

  • What advantages do they have?

  • What disadvantages do they have?

Whilst you might like to operate in a world where there is no-one selling against you, in reality, having some competition can be a really good thing - it helps to keep you on your toes and to continually improve and develop the products or service that you offer. Without competition it’s easy to be complacent and to lose focus!

In medical sales, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have strong competition no matter which role you fill, and plenty of it too. We sell into enormous markets worth trillions of dollars globally, and with tremendous diversity about them. So, it’s natural that more and more companies are now chasing a slice of that pie, whether they make the products to sell, or just sell them for somebody else.

The first thing you should do (if you haven’t done so already), is start creating a business plan – you know, that ‘roadmap’ to your success that everybody talks about? They talk about it because it’s so important in the grand scheme of things, and knowing your competition is very much a part of that plan. Start by doing a SWOT analysis (Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunities; Threats) both for yourself (company/products) and for your main competitors, but only the top 2-3, not everyone. You may have more than 2-3 but if you start to cast the net too wide then you’ll achieve little in terms of competing with any of them. Stay focused – just look at the biggest 2-3 players in your market and go from there. If you’re not sure about starting this or pulling your business plan together, check out my FREE resources at where you can sign up and then download my awesome template!

Once you know who they are, start doing some research so that you can confidently (and correctly), fill your SWOT analysis in a meaningful way. In other words, don’t put down what you ‘think’ but rather what you ‘know’ about them. If it helps, then create a separate side-list for each of your major players with the criteria listed above and start filling in the blanks: who are they; what their market share is; how are they doing; what’s great about them, and finally what’s bad about them too? Now feed the key points from that into your SWOT analysis so that you start to build a picture of just where you sit in relation to them. Remember that your research could include online interrogation of the company and products; discussions with your customers about what they do, or don’t like, with competitor products, or speaking with your peers who may already have significant insight into this, and more.

Knowing your competition is vital to your success, so don’t gloss over it or you will pay the ultimate price and start losing your business to them!

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