If you’re in an overcrowded market, acquisition becomes even more difficult. And to top it off - it's an entire organization making a switch from one solution over to you, so there are no spur-of-the-moment purchase decisions here.
So if you want to lure competitors’ clients to your company, you’ll have to prove why you're superior to your rivals.
Why should another business's users care about you? What can you offer that can make their lives even easier?
I'll help you discover the answers that actually resonate with prospects, so you can set plans in motion to surpass your competition and entice their clients to join you.
1. Discover the attraction of your competitors
Find out why clients picked your competitor in the first place. Identify your major rivals, and then conduct a competitor analysis for each of them.
Pick specific areas you want to compare, like price, reputation, customer service, offers, uniqueness, etc.
Once completed, you'll discover areas where your competition surpasses your business.
A.k.a. aspects that compelled certain users to choose them (and not you!).
Positioning your own business will be easier - once you figure out how you compare. You could also set plans in motion to catch up to your competitors’ strengths.
2. Turn competitors’ weaknesses into your advantage
Your competitor analyses will also help you uncover your competitors' weaknesses, and you can use these deficiencies to win over their clients.
You may find that few of your competitors are seizing prime opportunities, leaving gaps in the market and overlooked niches.
Here’s a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you analyze the services offered by your biggest rivals. And you realize: they all base their customer support times on US working hours.
You both have international client bases. Perhaps their non-North American clients feel inconvenienced by this?
If you offered flexible support times, you could entice more clients to your business.
3. Find out what clients dislike about your competitors
Time to hear another perspective on your competitors: their clients. More specifically, what are they disappointed with?
Read through online reviews, on Trustpilot, G2 Crowd, Capterra, Google Reviews, Reddit, etc., and make note of the most frequent criticisms. Here’s why that’s useful -- focusing on a SaaS example.
You’re skimming through the reviews of your most popular competitor and you notice a common frustration: ‘Sometimes the app freezes. Whilst the whole team is trying to do their work.’
Again, this could yield plenty of future opportunities for you. You could strive to improve your own services, then let prospects know about your superiority, using social proof to back up your claims, of course.
4. Keep your user experience familiar
Uniqueness in a business can be good, especially when you're aiming to be memorable.
But it can come with drawbacks too.
Here’s the thing. Your competitors' clients (presumably) don't see you as superior, otherwise they would have already switched to you.
So don't make persuasion even more difficult by appearing too different, complicated or strange.
You could ignite a powerful objection: ‘The set-up seems too complex. It’ll probably take too much effort.’
Keep certain matters similar to what is popular in your industry. In SaaS, this familiarity particularly applies to UX patterns. After all, that’s what your prospects are accustomed to.
If you don't fit in, they may not consider your software to be worth the switch.
Don't let uniqueness come at the expense of losing valuable prospects.
In ecommerce and service industries, focus on promises and guarantees. You'll want to match (and ideally, surpass) what your competitors offer.
For example, how do your warranties rank against your competition? What about your returns period?
If your guarantees come with extra caveats, then this may discourage more prospects. Many of your prospects will compare your services to other options, and you don't want to rank at the bottom.
5. Demonstrate your superiority to the competition
Once you conduct your competitor analysis, you'll hopefully discover golden nuggets: areas where your business comes out on top. These are great, but it's no good hiding your excellence from prospects. Including your rivals' clients.
So how can you express your superiority?
Let's focus on an example from the marketing platform Mailchimp. They discovered their own golden nugget of superiority: an AI design tool, unique to them. Here’s how they promote this feature:
This can help convince prospects to switch to Mailchimp. Why does it work?
- It’s highly-relevant: This section is taken from a sales page, aimed at businesses that want to scale. Readers will likely be open to choosing Mailchimp.
- It addresses the competition by name: And not just as a matter of legal compliance.
To say ‘yes’ - prospects need to know how Mailchimp is different - and better.
Prospective clients often make purchase decisions based on comparisons. So why not reference the elephant in the room?
Aim to differentiate your business from the rest of the crowd. As Joel Klettke (the founder of Case Study Buddy) says:
But many businesses overlook something important: this differentiation needs to be customer-oriented. In other words, explain how your superiority benefits your clients too. To entice more prospects. here’s what Mailchimp could have said instead:
After all, the prospect is a small business owner. They could be doing their own brand designs.
So the AI tool could remove a tiring task from their long To-Do lists - forever. Plus, Mailchimp is unique in offering this feature.
So create a (mental) picture that is actually relatable, compelling and realistic. Help your potential client picture their future selves using your service.
6. Offer prospects the chance to engage with your service
Making a switch requires commitment. And trust. And this can induce anxiety for your prospects.
But luckily, you could help alleviate that.
It’s essential that you show your value - in smaller, tangible and compelling ways. Without asking for commitment, just yet. What I'm trying to get at is this: give something for free.
This free content should be applicable to your niche. Like samples. Guides. Free trials. And e-books (on useful topics). Do you offer paid courses? Then consider letting prospects access your very first lesson for free.
Let's look at an example of free, compelling content - from the project management tool Basecamp.
They offer sample walk-throughs. These mini-trials help prospects see the value of switching to them. Plus, it’s a more immersive experience - compared to a simple website browse.
The prospect doesn't have to imagine what using Basecamp is like. They can try it for themselves.
Basecamp even offer to write the annoucement message for you.
Now on the surface, this ‘kickoff message’ helps introduce the new software to the prospect's team. But it works on a deeper level too. It can ease a major anxiety for B2B prospects: how they'll convince their colleagues to get onboard (with a new solution).
They don't have to... Basecamp does it for them!
So consider how you could make your value easily digestible for prospects, and don't just wait for them to make that staggering decision to switch.
Give them interesting (yet small-scale) opportunities to actually engage with your brand. The objective is clear: you want prospects to believe that you're a useful AND low-risk option.
Prospects are constantly comparing you to the competition - it's the nature of decision-making. So help position your business as a superior choice.
To do that, you'll need to conduct some in-depth competitor comparisons, and find areas that you can optimize.
Whatever your prospects value is what you should offer to the best of your ability, particularly if your competitors aren't already doing the same. Then, emphasize the opportunities you allow prospects to enjoy and the pains you reduce. These messages should appear throughout your marketing endeavors, aimed at people in the prospective stage.