Yikes! Here Comes The Competition . . .

By August 13, 2010Think About It

A guest post by Stone Payton

Todd’s Commentary: Call me crazy, but I’ve never worried about competition.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to compete. Winning is fun!  Losing isn’t, but even then, the learning experience is rewarding and the new knowledge motivates me to go take another crack at the victor.

Most of the time, I don’t talk about the fact that in my view, The YPS Group doesn’t even have any competitors.  Seems a bit cocky and my ego is already on display too much as it is!  Hadn’t thought about Stone’s spin on the topic before.  I like it though…


I’ve Been Thinking . . .

The universe is trying to tell me something.

Two days ago, I come across this blog post about competition from Seth Godin. I like it. I re-tweet it. So do 1200 others. I paraphrase it later that same afternoon.

Then, this morning I get a one sentence e-mail from a Joint Venture Biz colleague that one of his clients is enamored with XYZ company — an outfit that provides a similar service to one of our services.

My first reaction (spoken only to myself) was uber-defensive… “Their stuff stinks. Ours is much better. They’re over-priced. What is your client smoking?, They charge how much? Have you not explained just how freakin’ wonderful we are — and how marvelous our service really is? Oh My God …are we really about to lose an opportunity to these other clowns?”
I think you’ll agree, not a very productive thought pattern — even if I was right …and I wasn’t. What I was …was scared, insecure, reactive — and self-centered. (Again, fortunately not out loud.)

I took a closer look. Their stuff doesn’t stink. In fact it’s quite good. They do charge a great deal more than we do. So What? How is that anything but great for us?

And then it dawned on me: How fortunate for us that another player in our general sandbox — an organization with far more resources and reach than we’re probably ever going to have is creating all this awareness and opening up the market for all of us!!!

That’s when I remembered: When I sold and delivered Peer To Peer Training, Peter Senge and his book The 5th Discipline was the best possible marketing our little company could ever hope for, and when I sold Change Leadership Methodology for a boutique consulting firm, an academic author from Harvard with a great publicist — Professor John Kotter was the best thing that ever happened to us.

So What? / Now What?

1. I’m attending XYZ’s webinar tomorrow. (It’s not really XYZ, it’s AngelVision) Which brings me to idea #2…

2. I’m gonna quit running from any potential competition, and quit hiding them from my prospects and clients. I’m going to embrace them — maybe even refer them in and / or explore partnering with them . . . all of these decisions to be made with the client’s best interest in mind. And that’s the real key, I think — idea #3…

3. I’m re-committing myself to putting the Client’s Best Interest ahead of mine. This is not 100% altruistic on my part — I really think my own best interests will be served as well in the long run.

Don’t Get Me Wrong: I still have every intention of getting better and better at helping our prospects and clients understand if / when / why / how our offerings will serve them Better, Faster, Cheaper than XYZ’s offering . . . but I intend to approach that pursuit much more pure of motive: Client’s Best Interest First.

What else should we be doing?
Am I off my nut here?
Should we take a more aggressive “beat the competition” posture?

All Input / Feedback Welcome, and we’ll keep you posted on how this goes . . .

(Original Post)

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Hi Todd – Great post and I admire your courage for writing about the fear of competition.

    We are such a fear based society and far too much business has been generated on this platform for too long. Your new thought pattern that competition is healthy I think is a great one and will ultimately be the winning strategy. After all intention is everything.

    Everyday there is yet another scientific article in the news about how we are always picking up on each other’s energy and thoughts, broadcasting them whether we are conscious of that or not.
    However, the ROI is in the way customers pick up our true inner broadcasts. So what customer wants to buy more fear? I think the downturned economy bottomed out that stategy 2 years ago. The winning strategies I think are based on relationship building, connection, co-operation, healthy competition, and being helpful among others. It is a marketplace that redefines our relationship with the competition. Getting to that perspective is a worldview that may take some getting used to but intentions help. So -no I don’t think you are crazy but at the leading edge for how the world is turning. Glad to see you in action!

    Carolyn Winter

    • Carolyn,

      Another kindred spirit! Thanks for the the serious commentary on what I believe is an important topic. How about this thought from my buddy, Stone Payton: “Serve your competition and you won’t have any.”

      Todd

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