Want to dominate your space and push out your competition? Here’s how…
The idea of competing has never sat well with me, actually, I’m being polite, the idea of “competing” has absolutely disgusted me since I was quite a young man! But I promise you, it’s not what you think, it’s not the idea that competing turns me completely away from competing, it’s that people spend more time focusing on “competing” instead of actually dominating their marketplaces like they should!
Competition vs. Dominance
Competing, for me, is based on the idea that you are doing what everyone else is doing but you are simply trying your best to do it just a little bit better!
We see this every single day in athletics, foot races aretypically one of the purest forms of competition on the planet and one place where dominance doesn’t typically present itself!
Everyone is seeking a competitive edge, they’re trying to find new sneakers, a better way to kick off, the perfect gear for aerodynamic performance, trying new training methods, training more, training in intervals, the list goes on and on in order to find a competitive edge up over their competition!
I’m not going to sleight our Olympians, because this is some of the most gruelling training on the planet, but the same ideas apply to Business, we’re looking for the newest marketing technique, the latest Sales Tip that are going to grow our Business, some crazy Accounting or Finance system that is somehow going to liquidate millions of dollars in cash in our companies, or an Advertisement that is going to blow the doors off of our Brand Awareness.
When most are focusing on the shortcut or the next “great marketing message” that is going to get them there, they are not focusing on what they really can control…
Domination is your ability to take over your marketplace, be everywhere and anywhere, anytime of day, and be known, first in the mind of your customers when they think of what it is you sell! And I’m not talking no small time bullshit here either, I’m talking the kind of mental brand association “Heinz” has with the word ketchup, or “Coca-Cola” has with the word Cola.
This is true domination, not simply edging out your competition for being slightly better, but genuinely doing what every else does, doing it better, and dominating in your own space as well. The idea is that you can do what they do, and make it better than they could have ever made it, found a competitive edge in that field, and you’ve been so unique in your other offerings that they have no choice but to go with you — no matter what price you bring.
Doing what they do, only better, doing what they wont do, eventually you’ll be doing everything they cant!
Going through the dominance model again, you have to really examine what it is your competition is doing, it also means that you’re going to need to take the time to do it! I found the most effective way to go about doing it is to make a simple phone call to your competition and pretend that you’re a customer…. I know, I can hear the moans now, but the reality of it all is, you’re going to have to do a little of what they are not willing to do.
It’s called research, and it’s going to be absolutely vital to your dominance efforts. When I was working in the furniture industry, I had a lot of customer who were telling me my direct competition was offering free delivery on all of their products. I knew there had to be a catch somewhere, so I called my competition, and pretended like I was looking for one of their products.
I got to the point in the conversation where I asked about free delivery, and they said they did! But then they began asking me about disposal of my old products — there was a charge. How many I had — there was a charge with more than one. If I needed disposal bags that we’re government regulated, well, I didn’t, so — there was a charge for that too.
Pretty soon the picture was starting to come into a clearer focus — I was going to billed any way I went about this!
So, being the entrepreneurial little shit I was, we began offering a “full service delivery experience”, I never once changed the fee, and for the price of the marketing, you got bags, disposal, and there was no up-charges on multiple products. That was competition. The dominance came into play when I got my delivery team on board with unpacking items, throwing away the packaging, and even setting it for the customer upon arrival.
This became domination.
I’ve never seen my delivery volume skyrocket so fast in my entire time with the Business and never forgot the lesson! Truth is, I think we lost a little money on the back end, but more of our customer were talking about the experience than ever before, and we were closing MANY more deals and generating a tremendous amount of revenue because of it. In reality, a little profit lost on delivery, a lot of profit made on the front end sale. We had won!
We had gained some resources to do some pretty spectacular things after that, we offered all kinds of packages, we suddenly we’re rolling out with plumbing installations, electrical components, we were partnering with repair people all around the city and doing things that my competition just simply couldn’t afford to do because we were growing at an exponential rate.
That’s typically how these stories work though, more money means you simply can DO MORE than anyone else can! But you’ve gotta find some way to complete AND more than just that, dominate!
This all begins with a change of mindset…
Doing more — your unique value proposition.
You mindset needs to be so much more than “I can do that too!” It needs to be centred around, I can do that too, but I can do it better, not only can I do it better, I can do it differently and better…. OH! And I’m going to do something they would NEVER dream of!!!!
Here’s the process:
Do what they do… > do it better (competing) > Do it differently from what they’re doing and better > Do everything they would never dream of doing!
You’re going to need something that makes you different however, in comes the “Unique Selling Proposition”, this is not my idea, as a matter of fact it has been something that has been established since the 1940’s. The fact that it is STILL relevant today stresses the importance of the concept!
As a matter of fact the I’m going to bold and say that it is the single most important thing you can possibly do for your Business and Marketing efforts! Let me repeat this:
The single most important thing you can do for your Business and Marketing efforts is your Unique Selling Proposition.
The reason for this is many, but the most important of them are as follows:
- It establishes you in the Marketplace, it gives your customers something to really talk about. Everyone LOVES new, and everyone loves talking about new, for better or worse, whether or not it works, bad press is still good press, it’s going to get your company heard in the Market.
- It gives you a target market to TRULY define. The entire purpose of effective marketing is to be able to market to small, but many groups of specific individuals whom absolutely LOVE what it is you do! In the words of Seth Godin “Everyone is not your customer.” you need to truly define a target, and as Seth would put it, “Find your tribes, and create your purple cow”.
- You’re going to have to face customer loyalty amongst the crowds that do the things “everyone else does”, Car lots are tremendously terrible for this, they seem to think more marketing, the same ads, the same service aspects, the same “free tires”, the same financing options, bleh… is going to get them ahead; so what’s left? A series of Salespeople who pitch excellent customer service, and loyal customers that refer their friends and family to the market. You’re going to have to create something that unhinges customer loyalty, and a unique selling proposition does EXACTLY that! It garners attention away from what your potential future clients have “always done” and help them look for something new, something different, something that is going to have them at least looking in your direction, have them curious, and have them wanting more!
- The most important thing a Unique Selling Proposition does is allows you to say that you pioneered something, that you were first to the market with an idea. “The early bird gets the worm” absolutely! What about the bird that creates a condition where there are simply more worms? Instead of waiting, that bird sabotages a garden hose to drown the lawn and have worms springing up EVERYWHERE! Definitely not something that could really happen, but if it did, and I was that bird, I would be the happiest bird alive! That’s really what you’re looking to do with a Unique Selling Proposition, create a market condition that allows you to have more customers than you possibly could have thought of and be known as the “idea maker” behind the concept!
Strategies and examples on how to get it done:
Now I’m not going to leave you hanging, I spend a tremendous amount of time thing about Unique Selling Propositions, so here’s a list of things for different industries that are worth a try:
I’m waiting for the day a Sales Professional takes me on a walk through of a vehicle and markets that specific car, and engaging video of its features and advantages! Every dealership seems to have a vendor supplied vehicle giveaway, why not review the vehicle that you’re giving away, create a video surrounding how it could help my family, and market the hell out of it. Oh, AND there’s a chance I could win the thing for free if I just give you my information? Let’s do it!
Every agency touts that they will bring you quality candidates. Awesome… that’s your job. What else you got? What about creating a system where everyday people can recruit to do everyday chores? I’m waiting for the agency that puts together a fee for charge service that allows me to call them up, tell them I need about 2 hours of laundry folded and taken care of, and they send me someone, they manage everything, the person is already vetted and trusted, and the company is held accountable if anything goes wrong. I can walk away from it, pay them, and not have to worry about hiring a cleaning company that I have to supervise, don’t really know anything about, and worry about doing a quality job.
Here’s one that oddly enough plagues a lot of Businesses, not just my own. How about picking up a damn phone when I call in? Jesus, you think I can get a hold of a company RIGHT AWAY when I need something? Nope… this really goes for any Business without saying.
Another way a roofing company could set themselves apart is establishing themselves as a trusted authority. It’s funny how there seems to be all kinds of roofing services offered after a major weather disaster… they just seem to spring up everywhere all at once! Don’t believe me, wait until it hails for 2 days straight and then check Kijiji (Canada) or Craigslist. It’s unbelievable!
A roofing company that actively markets AGAINST this kind of activity is bound to be very successful as it gives people hope that not only are they going to get a quality roof, but they’re going to get great aftercare as well!
- The tremendous advantages to domination is numerous! But the entire aim is to be first in the minds of your customers! You have to be first, you have to associate yourself with the kind of thinking that has no choice but to have people looking into what you offer first above everyone else you compete with.
- The plan toward dominance is to do everything that your competition does, do everything they do a little better, then do everything they wont do, and then doing something they would never think of, so you can do things that your competition can only dream of!
- Establish your Unique Selling Proposition, this is the last step of dominance, the real key is to establish yourself as something new to the market, this will allow you to garner attention, unhinge customer loyalties, and ultimately market to your newfound customer base!
Matthew Gourley is the CEO and Founder of Salestraininc.com — A company that specialise in making you money, growing your Business, and helping you achieve the freedom you deserve!