This article was updated on September 19, 2018.
In order for your business to thrive, you need to surpass your local competitors whenever possible. When you promote your organization, you have to do your best to avoid negativity, as this can give your business a bad reputation in your community.
Here are a few tips on how to make your company stand out while keeping a positive rapport with other local businesses:
Research Your Local Competitors
Before you can outperform your competitors, you have to know what you're up against. List out the most successful similar companies in your area and perform a competitive analysis. Take a look at the types of products, prices and special discounts these businesses offer, as well as their target markets, number of employees and customer reviews.
Focus on Your Strengths
Based on your research, you should determine what you do best compared to your competitors. A business can typically stand out in at least one of three main areas: price, quality or speed. When reaching out to customers, focus on your strengths. Making overarching promises that you're the best at everything can come off as insincere. Emphasize that you know your local area much better than larger businesses with locations in multiple regions, and that you have more time to get to establish a personal relationship with your customers.
Use Generalized Comparison Charts
By creating a comparison chart, you can highlight your strengths without coming across as negative. After all, you're just presenting the facts. Make a chart with your company as well as a few of your local competitors, but be sure to avoid calling out their brand names. Instead, simply label different sections of the chart with headers such as "Local Competitor A" and "Local Competitor B."
Then, go through the chart and list information about each company's prices, standard project completion time, number of different products, shipping costs and special discounts. Potential clients can quickly read through your chart to see how your business compares to others.
Bring Up Potential Competitor Flaws Respectfully
As you get to know the market, you may find that your competitors have some clear flaws and problems. Your first instinct may be to bring up these issues. However, this can give you a reputation of badmouthing people in your community.
Instead, use open-ended questions to get prospects to see the issue themselves. For example, instead of saying that a competing construction firm is always late on their projects, you could ask the prospect if the other firm would offer a guarantee for their deadline. If they're unwilling to do so, this will hammer home the point that your company is more committed to the customer's project timeline.
By following these tips, you can highlight your strengths for potential customers without creating a negative rapport with other local businesses.
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