Just because your competition makes a point of saying something doesn’t mean that’s what you should say. If they think 24/7 coverage is what to talk about, great – but it doesn’t mean you have to. If they like to tell you every event they’ll be attending, fine – but it doesn’t mean you should, too. It’s not that these are right or wrong things to discuss, it’s about understanding how you, in healthcare IT, can stand out from the competition.

What tone do they use?

The first thing to consider is what tone of voice your competition is using. Are they speaking like a corporate drone or do they have a distinct personality? If they have a personality, what is it? Can you easily tell the difference between their company’s tone and yours?

The tone tells you a lot about the sales style of a company. Corporate and formal tones often translate to corporate and formal sales procedures. Casual, even unusual, tones can indicate a company willing to take some risks.

What do they emphasize?

Next, pay attention to what they are talking about. Do they lead with their product features? Do they talk about how good their security is? Maybe they talk about a particular customer pain point or one of the top benefits of working with them.

If they are an established and well-respected competitor, you want to flag anything they emphasize that you also emphasize. Unless you are dramatically superior, your customers may already associate that trait with them, and it might be better to go in a new direction.

What is being left out?

Which brings us to the last question: what is missing? What are they not discussing? If they stress security, are they skipping over customer service? If they emphasize speedy implementations, are they overlooking tech support?

Even more importantly, are they talking about their product or company more than their customer? If so, that means they are leaving out the pain points and benefits a customer is most likely to relate to.

Find the Opening

Once you’ve made note of all these things, it’s time to look for your opportunity. Consider your brand and how you want to come across first. Then, see if a different tone would play well against your competition. Could you be more laid back? More modern?

And what do you lead with? Are you emphasizing a feature that your competition also stresses? If so, what if you moved in a different direction and left your competition behind? Or what if you switched to a different aspect of that feature – say, a different way of looking at it, or a story to make it come to life?

Of course, what is not said can be just as important as what is said. Is your competition skipping over something you excel at? Maybe you can make that into a campaign. Are they ignoring the difficulties your customers face before reaching out to you? If so, that’s a great place to take the lead.

To stand out from the competition, you need to be distinctive – a little research can show you how.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash.