For Your Windows – blog

All About Windows and other Stuff

THANK THE COMPETITION

on October 12, 2011

I belong to a great networking group here in Albuquerque called The Networking Team. We have a  rule, like many do, that limits each business category to one member.  Of course, that makes the group more attractive to a potential business person. I enjoy the education and inspiration so much that it would be easy for me to ignore that rule. Shoot, look how much I might learn from my competition.

When I first began promoting window cleaners here in this blog, I decided that I would suggest businesses all over the US, without regard to any duplication in a given area. I was more concerned with a company’s track record and reputation for great service. I personally think our competition just makes us better at what we do.

Below is an excerpt from an informative article written a few years back about this concept. The whole piece can be find here if you are interested. I think the writer, a Michelle Nichols, is right on the mark.

1. Competitors help you define who you are to your customers. Consider this: Where would Pepsi (PEP) be without Coke (KO)? If Pepsi was the only household name cola available, it would have to tell its customers it sold a sweet, brown, fizzy beverage. Instead, it markets its product as a cooler, hipper alternative to Coke.

As a sales speaker, I’ve also benefited from having one major competitor. We share roughly the same sales philosophy. The big differences between us are that he is better known, a lot older, and uses coarser language. So when potential clients ask me for a point of reference when considering me for a speaking gig, I say “I’m the kinder, gentler, female version of Mr. X who doesn’t curse.” That usually produces a smile of understanding—and often, a deal.

2. Rivalry can bring out your best. For example, when Japanese automakers began to make serious inroads into the American marketplace, U.S. manufacturers responded by improving the quality of their cars—though, unfortunately for them, they’re still struggling at it (see BusinessWeek.com, 1/25/07, “The Record Year Ford Hopes to Shake Off”). Obviously, when your competitors improve, you had better improve too—or risk getting fired by your customers. Even though it’s painful and expensive, over time you can provide better products and services.

3. Competition adds energy to your selling efforts. A good example of this was the battle between Nike (NKE) and Reebok (RBK). At one time, Nike’s mission statement was “crush Reebok.” Those were words the sales forces of both shoe manufacturers could rally around. (Never mind that Nike won.) Your customers also get to join in on the fun of choosing sides and participating in the duel with their dollars.

4. Competitors educate your customers through their advertising and marketing.While their campaigns push customers on their specific new products and services, they’re simultaneously marketing potentials on new features available industrywide. This means your competitor is doing some pre-selling for you, legitimizing the latest widget. Instead of glaring at your competitor’s large, glossy ads next time you see them, understand that they could be paving the way to a sale for you.

My sales-speaking competitor spends a lot of money selling companies, groups, and individuals on the importance of investing in their sales knowledge, whether it’s through a book, CD, training series, consulting agreement, or speaking event. I like to think of him as a big cruise ship crossing the ocean. In this scenario, I’m a smaller boat that tucks in behind him, not expending as much energy as he does, but quickly moving forward. I reap some of the benefit of his efforts, as potential customers become more knowledgeable about the benefits of spending money on becoming better at selling.

We can all benefit from the challenge competition offers. There are valuable lessons to learn for sure.

As previously blogged, here are some more suggestions for window cleaners that will make your glass sparkle for the upcoming holiday season.

Near Dallas         Clearview 

 Orlando Fla.      Absolute Window Cleaning    

DC and Maryland      We Do Windows

 Minneapolis, MN         Karins Services

Orange County, CA         Grady’s Window Cleaning


One response to “THANK THE COMPETITION

  1. Arthur Telles says:

    Loved the blog today! Great and inspiring information. Thanks!

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