Yesterday in speaking with two executives (Jim Fowler and Luke Christiano) from Owler.com, I suddenly realize that many in sales confuse awareness with obsession when it comes to SMB competition.
Being aware of your SMB competition is necessary. In many more time intensive strategic planning processes, there is time devoted to identifying the competition, looking at them from a comparative competitive advantage such as what does the SMB competition offer than the other SMB does not offer?
Now being obsessed with your competition is foolhardy. As one of my colleagues, Rick Gosser of Gosser Corporate Sales has said “I am me, no one else is like me.” Each of us brings a unique perspective and expertise to our interactions as well as solutions.
In listening to many conversations with local SMB owners and sales professionals, there is a great tendency to be overly concerned about their competitors. Their obsession reminds me of something I learned years ago about life.
We can control only a very small part of our lives. We can influence a little more. However most of what we experience is truly out of our control. Yet, human beings invest far more time about what they cannot control than what they can control. The end result is a lot of wasted time, energy, money and emotions. I always encourage executive coaching clients to direct their attention to what they can control and influence.
Even if you and your SMB competition offer the exactly same solutions, there is still a difference. People buy from people they know and trust. Someone may believe he or she knows you better than your competition and conversely another person may believe he or she knows your competition better than you. Obsessing about your competition is just plain illogical.
If you want to increase sales, be aware of what is happening in your marketplace. However obsessing over your SMB competition will not increase sales. Learn how to build upon your knowledge, your expertise and your relationships. By taking this proactive and abundance approach will increase sales.
P.S. I know this to be true because I belong to a community of 50 sales trainers, sales coaches and sales consultants. Since I have connected with these individuals, my business has grown and I have had the opportunity to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.