Knowing Your Competition

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Knowing who your competition is is important in business.  Some people get a little obsessed with it, and I do not think that is healthy.   I do believe, however, that it is important to know who you are being compared to by potential clients and not just who you think you are being compared to.

This can be achieved by simply asking your potential clients who else they are considering.  I used to be a bit squeamish about doing this, but I got over it.  You should, too.

There is nothing unethical about simply asking brides who call you which other planners they are interviewing.  This helps you know whether or not your advertising and marketing is working in the way you intended it to.  If you have several years experience under your belt yet are consistently being compared with brand new knottie-turned-planners, there are some serious problems with your marketing strategy and you need to revisit your business and marketing plans.

If a bride chooses someone else over my company, I also ask whom she decided to hire.  I'm completely honest about my intentions about it - that it helps me to have accurate statistics when I review my business plan each year.

This information should not be taken lightly.  Knowing which other planners a couple is considering does not give you license to bad mouth that vendor or try to discredit them in any way.  Of course, you are smarter and have more ethics, manners and class than that, and would never stoop to such a low level, but I am still repulsed by some of the stories planners share with me. 

Actually knowing who you are competing against versus who you think you are competing against will help you create a business model that works for you.

Do you ask potential clients who else they are considering?  Why or why not?

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