How to Stand Out from the Competition 

Module 5
Getting a Leg Up on the Competition
Part 2

In Part 1, you researched the services offered by the competition in order to provide your own unique and more valuable services. Now in Part 2, we’ll look at how the competition engages with clients so you can analyze your own client relationships and better your game.

Step 1 of Client Relations: Observation

You’ve got some work to do, but this step is super simple. This is your chance to be a fly on the wall and just watch what other practices are doing, why, and how. We are specifically applying observation to client relations. First, we’ll discuss ways and places to observe, then we’ll consider questions to ask as you observe.
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Observation Tools: Where to Find the Competition

  • Google competition name along with terms such as “great deal”, “helpful”, “awful”, “terrible”, etc to see if clients have used either positive or negative words to describe that business
  • Search for reviews of the competition on sites such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, view Google reviews through Google Maps and clicking on the reviews of a searched location
  • Social Media: Search competition name or keywords and hashtags in your niche. Find Facebook pages and read reviews; search Twitter and Instagram hashtags to see what people are saying about them
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Observation Questions to Ask: The 5 W's and an H

  • Who are they engaging?
  • What answers are your competition providing that you can learn from and improve upon?)
  • When:
    • How long did it take for the competition to respond to clients?
    • How old are the reviews you found?
    • Are those concerns still relevant?
  • Where are they engaging clients?
  • Why are they engaging them?
  • How are others engaging their clients?

Step 2 of Client Relations: Interpret

Now that you’ve gathered information on the competition’s client relations, you need to create a “report card” of sorts that outlines the strengths and weaknesses you’ve observed, and how you stack up when compared to them.

Be careful to be as objective as possible as you summarize your data so your own opinions don’t sway the data. Ask if your conclusions are based on the facts that you found, or simply your own opinion and feelings? If you are recording client opinions, those are the facts of client relationships. But be careful not to bring your own subjective feelings or thoughts toward your competition into data compilation.

  • Helpful hint: Ask someone else to help you think through things: a fellow colleague, a friend, or even a family member (none of whom should be directly involved in your practice) can be helpful to keeping you on point.

Step 3 of Client Relations: Application

Now that you’ve gathered information on the competition’s client relations, you need to create a “report card” of sorts that outlines the strengths and weaknesses you’ve observed, and how you stack up when compared to them.

Be careful to be as objective as possible as you summarize your data so your own opinions don’t sway the data. Ask if your conclusions are based on the facts that you found, or simply your own opinion and feelings? If you are recording client opinions, those are the facts of client relationships. But be careful not to bring your own subjective feelings or thoughts toward your competition into data compilation.

 

  • Helpful hint: Asking someone else to help you think through things: a fellow colleague, a friend, or even a family member (none of whom should be directly involved in your practice) can be helpful to keeping you on point.

Getting Started - Action Steps for Your Next Coffee Break

In the next module, we will be diving into identifying your goals and why having a solid plan in place is so important.

Before digging into what you want to accomplish with your plan though, we recommend taking some time to reflect on what not having a plan looks like.

Assignment:

  1. Look at your competitors and their products and answer the following:
  • What’s so great about their services?
  • Why do people like them? What don’t they like?
  • How do your competitors market their services to their clients?
  • How do your competitors interact with their clients?
  • What kind of customer service do they provide?

2. Summarize your data. How strong is your competition? Considering your strengths and theirs, how do you compare to them?

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