How to find your competitive advantage – Pick Dave’s Brain

Who makes the best water purifier in Iran?

This week’s question comes from Naser in Iran.

Q:  In a tough market with an increasing number of low-price competitors, what are the best strategies and techniques to grow and survive profitably?

Click to tweet this: Great businesses offer much more than just “great prices.” You much differentiate. @DaveCrenshaw

Video transcript:

Who makes the best water purifier in Iran? I’m Dave Crenshaw and it’s time to Pick Dave’s Brain!

This week’s question comes from Naser in Iran. He owns a business that sells water purifiers and he has about ten reps, but over time it’s becoming more difficult to compete. His question is:

Naser:

In a tough market with declining purchasing power of customers, as well as increasing number of competitors with low-price, acceptable quality products, what are the best strategies and techniques to grow and survive profitably?

Dave Crenshaw:

This is a challenging question. However, there are some things that you can do. The first thing is we want to get out of the realm of competing like this is a commodity. Now a commodity is, by definition, something that people buy and trade regularly.

Salt is a commodity and when everybody can buy and trade salt, it really starts to lose its value.

This question sort of supposes that water purifiers are a commodity and I am not a hundred percent convinced that that’s true. There are a lot of things that you can do to differentiate what you do. For instance, perhaps you provide greater service with your product. You provide a service plan that allows you, over time, to keep going back in servicing them.

As one example just a little close to home is a little company called Xidax that I use and they sell laptops. Now laptops are pretty much the same…and we can debate about the parts inside of a laptop…but, in the end, a laptop is a laptop. So what do they do to differentiate themselves?

They have a bulletproof customer service policy. They also advertise about how they use only the best parts inside of their laptops.

I am wondering if there are some things that you can do here, where you’re differentiating and saying “Yes, our competitors had these other things. But here’s what we do different, here’s how ours are sourced in a different location.”

We want to market your product and that’s not just going on advertising. That’s also about how you present your product to the marketplace so that they view it far different than your competitors. If we can get away from the commodity [mindset], then you have a basis of competing with them in making more sales.

I hope that’s a helpful start to your complex question.

If you would like to pick Dave’s brain, all you need to do is click on the button underneath this video. Or go to DaveCrenshaw.com/ask.

And I look forward to hearing your challenging question.


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