Leave your Competition Behind and Gasping for Air

Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” – Nancy Pearcey

Just the sound of the title has left you smiling right? Us too! However to ensure this happens, your company would need to be relentless and even aggressive in getting to know their customers well. Getting to know customers, is not just about understanding their business needs, – as mentioned before, it is about every aspect that surrounds a customer’s life. You would need to know these details in order to ascertain what will be the best for them and consistently provide it to the customers such that you leave your competition behind and gasping for air. Companies still probably don’t realize that there is still a huge market of opportunities or haven’t been able to tap into for whatever reason but the fact is the sooner you do the faster you would be able to leave your competition behind – so far behind that they may never be able to catch up with you. Smiling again?

In a competitive market such as now, no company can afford to overlook even the smallest opportunity to innovate, personalize and do more. These may seem small in comparison to your overall efforts, but they contribute towards leaving your competition gasping for air and finding their feet. Making the most of the existing demands and needs of your customers means that you know them and can produce offerings that would be lapped up instantly thereby raising your reputation and opportunities of success.

In your endeavours to leave your competition behind and give your customer the better than they ask for, it is important to get advice and feedback. You may not always succeed and should expect to hear harsh criticism and complaints – the trick to leave your competition behind is to understand this criticism and utilize to get better. If you were to personalize the criticism or dismiss them as useless, it would be tough to understand the customer because going forward they may not be forthcoming with feedback – good or bad. Use the feedback and the criticism as a gift, an asset rather than dispelling it as worthless and you would be able to show the customer your true potential.

Just like customer service and your own business processes, remaining aware of what your competition is doing and understanding their strengths and weaknesses is also an on-going process and must not be taken lightly. There is a lot to learn from your competition too and if you can incorporate that learning to move forward, you will soon leave your competition behind. You may not get perfect immediately but if you can learn from your own mistakes and the mistakes of those in competition with you, you will move forward each day and improve by leaps and bounds.

The whole business environment and the market have changed significantly. Many new companies have emerged using the best of the technology available and it is apparent that they are moving with the trends and times. However, companies that remain focused only on giving to the customer what they want and giving it to them before anyone else, are able to stride ahead and also leave their competition wondering what went wrong for them. Irrespective of how long you have been in business, how large your enterprise is and even whether your customer base is formidable, to leave your competition behind and keep them there, you would need to open to learning, reinventing and willing to let go of what you ‘knew’ if it is not relevant any more. This may sound hard but it is a mind-set that must be cultivated and improved for sustained growth.

The fact is that competition is a reality – they are unlikely to go anywhere. In fact, competition in business is what will keep you performing better and providing better service and products to your customers. When competition gets too hard to handle, you should know that you are not doing enough for your customers. Focus on getting better and giving the customers the best and soon you will leave your competition behind and gasping for air. What does your company do to get better such that its competition does not stand a chance?

We think that being able to give the customers what they want before anyone else has even thought about it is the way to gain your customer’s trust and their business for a long time. It is your competitor’s job to try and defeat you (you are doing the same) but it is your responsibility to ensure that your products and service are such that customers want to do business with you. There is no way the competition will help you here! The pitfall here is that you may become so obsessed with what your competition is doing that you forget that you need to there for your customer first. Spend more time assessing what your customers want and give it to them – be there for them before anyone else. When you focus on the customer, the customer will see it and will reward you with business and testimonials and it won’t be difficult then to leave your competition behind.

Everyone is constantly saying be innovative and creative – the reason is that unless you seem different and unique, you are bound to get lost in the ruckus and chaos of the market. If what you do – service and offerings – can easily be done by someone else, you really don’t stand a chance and your company will be the one that competition leaves behind! Scary thought! Let whatever you do reflect your personal style, a passion and values that instil trust and confidence in your customers. Doing business should make them smile, reduce the effort they exert to conduct business and would allow them to know that they can count on you – this even sounds good – imagine the impact this kind of service and attitude will have on your customers. Leave your competition behind by being uniquely you!

If you are in business, you could scream yourself hoarse saying that you are not aggressive and not in it to win. Everyone wants more than the other – whether the other company is competition or not. The only way you can have this and more is when your customers attach value to what you do for them. Pursue your customers like you would someone you care about – without getting creepy or crossing boundaries. Keep them interested and engaged in you by presenting them with different offers, options and creative products. Give them your attention and time – get personal. Talk to them regularly – use the channel of communication they prefer and keep in mind the frequency with which they would like you to connect with them. Get aggressive in your approach to gain the confidence of your customer and see how soon you leave your competition behind – a flustered and confused lot!

Focus on gathering and analysing customer data – from wherever it can be sourced. Use the information to prepare a database of the most ideal customers and others as well. Put together a plan of action and then put all your energy into implementing that action to attract that niche customer base that you know would do wonders for your business and also leave your competition behind pulling out their hair! When you take the time to ‘choose’ your customers, your plans and execution would be more focused and better equipped to give this target base the best of whatever your company can offer. The fact is a strong, loyal and profitable smaller customer base is more powerful and effective than having a large, unmanageable and mostly unprofitable customer base. Leave this futile task for your competition – let them expend their valuable resources in trying to tap into a less fruitful and wasted customer base.

The recipe for success seems to be that whatever you decide to do must be done with passion and delivered on consistently. It should instil confidence in the customer when you speak about your USP – and confidence only happens when the actions match your words. Always deliver more than you have promised, be engaging, show excitement and be ever present for your customers. When you are all this and more for your customers, they will help you leave your competition behind – they will be partners with you.

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