Competitors Leaving Christmas Presents

One of the joys of autumn in England is escaping to the countryside at the weekend and taking a lazy walk that often ends up at a friendly watering hole. On many of those walks at this time of the year, you pass bushes laden with ripe blackberries and horse chestnut trees laden with conkers. Inevitably, you are not the first to spot them and indeed, many of the obvious places have been stripped bare. On occasion, where the light has created a shadow or stinging nettles have made it difficult to reach them, a plentiful supply of “virgin” berries and conkers sit waiting to be picked with a little ingenuity.

I see the very same situation with many of my best clients. They have an uncanny knack of looking where their competitors have partially or fully withdrawn and spotting difficulties their competitors face that hide profitable growth opportunities for them. What they are skilled at is deciding whether their competitor’s growth difficulties are important. If they are, they dig to find the cause, what are the business fundamentals (market demand, marketing, sales, delivery etc), what has changed in one of those fundamentals to turn the competitor negative on the opportunity and what would we need to do to profit from their difficulties.

When you receive feedback from your sales team, your clients, your prospects, analysts and media reports, can you spot profit in your competitor’s growth difficulties? If so, jump on it immediately. Christmas has arrived early.

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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