Don’t Worry About Beating the Competition

If you’ve been in the business world for longer than 30 seconds, you’ve probably heard a lot about how you need to differentiate yourself from the boxing business womancompetition or even “beat” your competition.  In fact, many business owners spend a lot of time thinking about what makes them different from their “competition.”  I’ve encountered numerous sales people who have tried to sell products and services by beating the competition to a bloody pulp.  You see this a lot with political ad campaigns, but it happens in the business world, too.  Instead of focusing on their own benefits and results, they are focusing on the other party’s weaknesses to make them look better.

It’s no wonder so many people struggle with marketing and sales.  I can’t think of any mission-driven entrepreneurs that would categorize themselves as a sleazy salesperson or mud-slinging politician.  This “beat the competition” mentality is just not aligned with business owners who’s main focus is truly helping people.

Selling is serving, not a boxing match.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, selling isn’t about convincing someone to do business with you. It’s about inspiring prospective clients to go after what they want and helping them to make an informed decsion about whether or not to work with you in order to get it.

Great salespeople are focused on serving their clients. Period. They’re not focused on themselves or the competition.

Instead of worrying about beating the competition, worry about providing the best solution for your client’s problem.

Here’s how to do that:

1) Be specific.

Instead of worrying about how you’re going to stand out from everyone else, just be yourself, but be very specific. The more specific you are about your point of view, whom you serve and the results you help them to achieve, the more heads you’re going to turn.  People notice specificity. When you lack focus in your messaging, you simply fade into the rest of the clutter that surrounds us.  You should be able to describe your ideal clients as if they were sitting next to you. Your messaging should sound like you are talking to them on the phone.  People don’t respond to messages, unless they think they are the intended recipient. Specificity is even more important during the actual sales conversation.  Never ever use canned lines or a script.  Tailor your conversation to your prospective client.

2) Know your client’s problem inside and out.

You can’t provide a solution to a problem you don’t fully understand.  Instead of spending hours researching everything about the competition, learn everything about your client’s problem and what they really want. What would make your solution more appealing to them?  What is going to get them the results that they want? When you provide the best solution to their problem, there is no competition.

True innovaters don’t look at the competition and make minor tweaks to set themselves apart, they solve problems.

3) Don’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Our motto at BrightFire is, “Together, we each shine brighter. Together, we each grow stronger. Together, we set the world on fire.” Instead of viewing colleagues as competitors, look for ways to collaborate with them.  Look for people who serve a similar target market as you do and look for ways to support each other.  You can do this in a number of ways, from referrals to creating a join venture or partnership.

You don’t need to worry about beating the competition.  The only thing you need to beat is your client’s most pressing problem.  Remember, if you want to be masterful at sales so that you can serve the people you are meant to serve, always stay focused on your client.  A self-centered or competition-centered approach just is not an effective strategy for inspiring people to work with you.


About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Amen. Amen. Amen. I’ve been asked, “Who are your biggest competitors?” And My answer, “I don’t really know!”

    They look at me shocked! They wonder why I’m not paying attention to them, making sure I always stay one step ahead. I simply respond with, “I don’t care what they are doing.”

    Too often business owners get so caught up in what other people are doing, they lose focus on what they are doing. But I’d rather spend my time focusing on what I can do better, where I can improve, how I can best serve my clients, etc.!

    The same goes for email newsletters! Stop spending so much time reading everyone else’s email newsletters! Instead unsubscribe and focus on what you are doing and I think you’d be surprised at the bump in productivity and achievement!

  2. Brava! So true at so many levels. Really, if a small biz owner doesn’t get this they have no chance against big guys who will always outspend them and stretch their believablility..

  3. Agreed. There is more than enough business for everyone and since “everyone” is not our ideal client, focus on what you do best and let the competitive nonsense rest. :)
    Write on!~
    Lisa Manyon

  4. I of course love #3… always great to join them. I talk about this to my entertainment clients because they are so convinced it’s about competing, when really, they are each so unique that they have no competition. They are either the one for the job or they aren’t. Your tips are great for putting it in perspective.

  5. Tiffny, I especially like your point 1- not to use a canned line or script! We only know (and dislike) having that done to us.

  6. This is especially so in the business of providing a service.
    Every single person will have a different view or connection
    with another person. Therefore there really is not any competition
    for anyone. We just need to connect with those who connect best with us.
    Our ideal clients. You have outlined the exact methods to follow.

  7. I love this advice. It’s not about beating the competition. I believe there’s enough work for everyone and one person cannot be all to every client. Much better to figure out, in a heart-centered way, how to serve your clients rather than focusing on “beating” others.

  8. Dear Tiffany

    Thanks for this GREAT post.

    This shift in perception is SO needed – both in this industry and in society as a whole.

    Let this spred to every corner of the world :-)

    Much love,

  9. Heidi Alexandra says:

    What smart, sensible advice – bravo!
    I’m with Jennifer that we should all “stop spending so much time reading everyone else’s email newsletters! Instead unsubscribe and focus on what you are doing and I think you’d be surprised at the bump in productivity and achievement!”
    Too many people suffer from “ordinary distractions” they are not even bright and shiny and this takes away from focus and productivity.

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