A phrase I heard a business contact of mine iterate on recently.
“Our competitors are terrible people, so we are going to punish the competition and show the world what they are really like”
Are they really terrible people, or are you just out to crush your competition? Are they really bad at customer service? Or do you just not like them?
Returning from a recent trip I received a phone call from a prospect we have been engaged with for a few weeks now who had existing business with one of our own competitors.
“Sean – we are currently wrapping up a project with competitor X, as soon as it’s finished we are more than happy to move all future business to Velez”
Now why did this conversation happen in the first place? I wasn’t out to punish our competition. In fact I don’t really pay attention to what they are doing except to know that they exist and we receive regular negative feedback about them.
The conversation happened as the competitor in question boasts a growing headcount, whilst the reality is they are losing staff, the business focuses on paying its directors to live a lifestyle it’s business model cannot support and as a result suppliers are neglected and often unpaid for months if they get paid at all.
Being aggressive in business is often seen in movies as the only way to survive. Aggression and passion are two different things, you have to be passionate and driven to be successful.
What you cannot be is physically aggressive, verbally abusive to employees, clients and suppliers. That’s a sure fire way to fail.
Business is difficult, there’s no doubt about it – but there is only so much that is acceptable in this environment.
To anyone struggling in business, sit back and understand why – chances are it can be narrowed down to one or two actions that stem from the top.