Don’t fear the competition fear complacency
It’s a phrase that I heard more than a year ago while consuming a podcast called Entreleadership. I started to reflect on those moments in sales and business where we’re told to research our competition, look out for trends and see where we can differentiate.
All those things are good practice but it doesn’t make you competitive it just makes you informed. In many cases there can be a very unhealthy focus on competition.
Many might argue this point but I believe ‘whatever your competition is doing doesn’t matter because there is very little you can do about it?’
In fact while studying some of the most successful business men and women in sales and business it’s very clear that your competition is never the reason for your lack of success, why you lose customers, why you didn’t make target or why you didn’t get the results you want.
Most of the time it’s our inability to take the right and appropriate action that causes us to miss out on great results.
Truly successful people recognise it’s when they’re at the top that they need greater focus, need to invest in themselves more, serve more and take even greater action.
The danger is. When things are going well, your customers are paying on time and you’re making money you can fall into the ‘complacency zone’. It creeps up on you and is sometimes difficult to see. You never hear its voice right away or see the consequences.
All of a sudden BOOM! There it is. Your customer just bought from a competitor, a customer cancels and you’re now behind on target, you didn’t get the result on a presentation you’ve delivered many times before. Complacency has just shown its head.
Complacency is the apathy of attention and focused action.
Your competition doesn’t matter complacency does. It’s the killer of most businesses and personal relationships.
There is a cure to complacency but it requires a willingness to be challenged and do something you may not be comfortable. I want to share just three ideas to help you avoid complacency.
Focus on others
Getting rid of complacency actually begins with others. In a professional context this will start with your customer. You have the greatest competitive advantage when you’re in front of your customers because your competition doesn’t have access. When you’re in the room or on the phone with your customer don’t leave those moments without doing something to protect your investment in that relationship. The point here is to extend your vision beyond yourself and cultivate a level of care that causes you to take more action and create more value for customers.
Be clear on your goals and read them daily
Another reason for complacency is because we have too small a goal or for some no goals what so ever. Without goals there is no reason for you to stay alert, attentive and in a place of action. That’s why in sales and in any profession we have targets and deadlines. It forces us to focus and prioritise. Do we always stay on track in pursuit of our goals? No and it will be hypocritical for me to say I do because I know I don't. Starting today set a new goal that is big enough that it compels you to have to take action daily to achieve new levels of success. For me it's the goal of impacting 10,000 account managers in the next 5 years. There are a number of implications for that. Practice reading your goals daily and eventually it will get in on the inside you’ll build the habit of taking action.
Be accountable or get someone else who will hold you accountable
I mentioned that even in your pursuit of your goals you'll come off track. Get accountable to someone. It's the most effective way to achieve greatness. Some of us will have this structure in our roles already. It will be our manager, director. Some of us our spouse :) you need to find the person you know and would give permission to kick your butt when you're not getting things done. In the end it's all up to you.
The next time you read an article about your competition. Don't get worried or flustered or compare. Simply ask. What action am I taking to serve my clients and meet my business goals? then take the necessary action to make things happen.
- What are your thoughts on this topic?
- Do you agree with what I’ve shared?
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Look forward to supporting your success
Jermaine - Your customer growth guide