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.