4 Rules to always beat the Competition

There is always pressure to watch the competition, weighing whether we can beat them or if they are currently beating us.

Many businesses obsess over what their competition is doing, so they miss the true issue at stake:

  • True winners do not focus on the competition: they focus on themselves.  They seek to truly improve everything they do, using information systematically gathered from their developing relationships with customers.

In the world of the empowered consumer, social media and transparent online feedback, this has never been more important.  Customers can toy with your reputation at the click of a mouse, publicise your problems at the swipe of a screen, and tell the whole world whether you were great or poor in a nano-second.

The true competition is not who you think it is.

  • The true competition is your own beliefs, systems and processes, and whether they are good enough for the hyper-competitive world of the empowered customer.

Of course it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening in your market, and to know what your immediate competitors are offering to clients, yet this is only background information.  I urge you to use this as a starting point only and instead obsess on the following four points:

  1. Get closer to your customers. Your customers can tell you what’s out in the market, what you’re doing well and what you’re not.  You then know what needs to change, and through this process you will also build world-class customer loyalty.
  2. Put a continuous improvement and innovation system into place in your business, based on small steps, continually executed.  We call this ‘going the extra inch’.
  3. Filter all your systems and processes through the customer’s emotional needs: trust, attention and easy life.  This way you can avoid inadvertently putting your foot in it, and make sure all of your systems deliver the optimum customer experience, resulting in maximum customer loyalty, reputation, cross-sales, up-sales and referrals.
  4. Make sure you have at the heart of your organisation something we call a ‘customer-focused mission’.  This is a belief that you are not there to make money, but instead to do something so well that customers want to give you their money.  This needs to cover every aspect of your business and direct everything you do within it.

If you do all of these things well, it will enable you to continually improve and rise head and shoulders above the competition.

Always keep an eye on your competition, as we’ve already mentioned, but more importantly keep an eye on yourself.  Focus on your systems and ensure that you are continually improving and innovating to meet and exceed the needs of your customer: next week, next month, next year and next decade.

In this hyper-competitive customer-empowered world nobody knows what’s round the corner, but you need to know before anyone else does, otherwise your market could literally disappear overnight, or trickle away until you suddenly realise that things have changed but it’s already too late.

Just look what Uber, Air BnB, Trip Advisor, Amazon, Google etc have done to their markets: they’ve revolutionised them!

Don’t focus on the competition. Focus on yourself and your competition will become less of a problem.

For more information on how to beat your competition, please contact us at: support@salesthroughservice.com

How to sell as much as you can, as quickly as you can

Selling is the world’s second oldest profession … often disguised as the first. It is also a noble profession, designed to:

  • Get the right products to the right people, in the right place, and at the right time
  • Drive continual innovation and improvement
  • Help people get what they need in order to be successful and happy in their lives

Yet a tragedy has happened involving this distinguished profession over the last couple of hundred years: as mechanisation and one way mass media has dominated the world of commerce, this over supply of goods has severely warped traditional sales… to such an extent where ‘selling’ has almost become a dirty word.

And marketing is in the same boat (as marketing is just a part of selling).

This shows up in behaviours (from both individuals and organisations) such as:

  • Quick fix ‘selling techniques’ continually promoted (we call this ‘chasing butterflies while the elephants are escaping’)
  • Marketing that over promises (and usually under delivers)… (often called ‘polishing turds’)
  • Processes aimed at only today (and we’ll worry about tomorrow if and when we get there)
  • The aim of ‘making sales and profit target this quarter’ driving all process and behaviour (while customer experience, reputation and loyalty go out of the window)
  • A continual cycle of MD’s and Sales Managers cajoling, threatening and demanding in ever more desperate attempts to meet targets
  • Sales training coaching and training to embed new ‘sales processes’

Indeed, in many organisations, this warped belief in ‘how to sell’ and ‘what the shareholders want us to do’, has become almost impossible for individuals to kick against the pricks and do the right thing: resulting (when this institutional disfunctionalism is exposed to the public) in major scandals (such as Enron) and market meltdowns (such as the one of 2008).

But the world has now changed.

We are now in an age of organisational transparency, worldwide whistle blowing and customer empowerment via online reviews and social media.

Continuing to act in the old dysfunctional ways of the industrialised mass market and one way mass media, this world is now driven by global innovation and two way mass media is madness. This ‘brave new world’ calls urgently for a return to the traditional values of selling, such as:

  • Unconditional trust
  • Systems obsessively focused on customer needs (whether they purchase today or not)
  • Customer engagement through feedback and collaboration

This is the new approach to selling … and it’s also a return to the old traditional values of customer reputation and loyalty. So, instead of the previous dysfunctional aim to ‘sell as much as you can as quickly as you can’ (through marketing and selling tricks and ‘quick result techniques’), the new way to REALLY sell as much as you can as quickly as you can, is what we call ‘Slow-Selling’.

If you like the sound of this so far, then we think you’ll love the ideas we put forward … so keep looking out for our posts.

If you think this is idiotic – why on earth would anyone want to ‘sell slowly’ – then I suggest you waste no further time and instead go too Google, search ‘How to sell more quickly’ and take it from there …

For more information on all of this material, please see our site www.salesthroughservice.com or email us at support@salesthroughservice.com