Perspectives On Competition

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Business Growth Insight: Business owners often have a misconception about their competition.  They see competitors as “taking a piece of the pie” or “stealing customers”.  This type of thinking leads to an attitude focused on destroying the competition and talking badly about them.  Successful CEOs recognize and leverage the value of competition.  First, they learn everything about the competition to know what they are really good at and what their customers love.  Next they look at the weaknesses of their competitors.  Then, these CEOs look at their own business.  Using their mission and vision, the CEOs make key decisions regarding how his company should be serving the industry. They may determine their company should fill in the gaps left by competitors in order to serve the customers of their industry better. Or maybe they should lower their prices to compete. They may determine it’s best to offer a higher level of product or service. Viewing competition from this perspective can be used to improve an industry and the lives of the customers.

Leadership Growth Insight: CEOs also realize that it is valuable and wise to talk well of their competition even to prospects and customers.  They model and teach these attitudes and behaviors to their team.  There are a few key reasons.  First, the prospect or customer may actually prefer what your competitors do well in comparison to what you do well.  The last thing the CEO wants or needs is a customer that cannot be satisfied in the way his business most efficiently and effectively executes against its mission and vision.  Second, the CEO knows that speaking the truth about his competitors’ strengths will build trust and rapport and improve his company’s reputation.  The prospect he is talking to may not become a customer but they will likely refer many future customers. Third, successful leaders know that when their industry thrives, their business will thrive. So, if the customer is not right for their business, but right for the industry, the leader will see their competitor as a complement within the industry.   Fourth, your competitors will see your behavior and some will emulate it.  The industry as a whole will shift over time and customers will benefit from your leadership.

Personal Growth Insight:  Focusing on learning what your competitors do well and telling others is a skill that builds your reputation and the trust people have in you.  But, if that is your focus, you may still be too narrow-minded. Telling others what a competitor does well is actually a way of serving.  Your focus is on giving to every person what will best support them in their needs.  Your mind should be set on serving the customer and making sure that they receive what most benefits them.  You will develop a sense of confidence in yourself and you will not be concerned about where your next customer comes from because you have invested in being authentic and honest with everyone you meet.  This results in every contact you have becoming a potential referral source for you. But again, instead of focusing on what you will get, simply focus on what you can give and relax.

Tony Bodoh and Vinny Ribas are the co-founders of LeaderBridge. Tony is the author of the soon-to-be released book, ‘The Customer Within.’ He is a Fortune 150 consultant and the founder of Tony Bodoh International and VenuPlan. Vinny is the author of ‘CEO Secrets’ and has coached over 1000 entrepreneurs. He is also the founder of Indie Connect, an entertainment management, consulting and training company. Together, they have identified thirteen critical elements that successful businesses leverage in a specific sequence throughout each of four stages of business growth. Using these elements as the foundation, LeaderBridge offers a system of in-depth business, leadership and personal development training for business owners.