Everyone Gets “ONE”
Mike and I just enjoyed a long, mutual rant about our friend Brett Favre and the #4 being retired.
The reality is, no matter how good you are at what you do, no matter the legend you’ve left behind, and no matter how well you perform in the marketplace – when it comes to competition everyone gets “ONE.”
In business, we can’t always offer our clients an exclusive relationship within their industry. But, as a partner in helping them grow, we can work to understand their competitive marketplace and understand their toughest competition – their “ONE” – and honor that in our relationship.
Like Favre and the Pack, we all have decisions to make. Who are our competitors? And who are our die-hard rivals? Which competitors, for the sake of growth and progress, can we collaborate with for the greater good of our clients, our industry and for our own businesses?
When working with a new client, I like to ask 2 key questions about competitors.
1. Who do you dislike? “Hate” is too strong, but “cringe” is a pretty fair word. When it comes to your competitors, what name do you “cringe” at? (Think hard about this before you move on. It’s important.)
2. If you needed your own services but you couldn’t choose your firm, which competitor would you choose to provide them? (Hint: the answers may be the same.)
Some of our best relationships and referrals have technically been from competing firms. We’ve leveraged each other – each performing in our sweet spot, enjoying every minute of it, while the other shines in their given area of expertise.
So, my questions to you are:
– How do you view your competition?
– What can you learn from them?
– What should you give up in order to focus on what you are awesome at, while partnering with someone who can better serve your client?
– And, who is your “ONE” when it comes to competition?
I mentioned it earlier, yes, everyone can have their “ONE.” I happened to live in the Twin Cities for a while and had the opportunity to see first hand how ***insert nasty word here*** Vikings fans can be.
When it comes to business, we may need to be more evolved than facepainting and locker-room jokes. But, I do believe it is ok to have one competitor who fuels you – who isn’t allowed to show you up, steal your clients or employees, and who is allowed to get under your skin JUST enough to fire you up to win.
(As an aside, if you are a service provider, ask this question of your client. You can’t always offer an exclusive relationship, and you can’t always put these things in writing. But, honor your word and stay away from the “ONE” that your client chooses. That’s the fair, relationship-honoring thing to do.)
So, to my friend, Mr. Favre. You could have chosen the Bears, and I would respect the long standing rivalry and irony. You could have chosen Detroit as the third-most-evil, or gone outside of the expected Division Rivals. That, we may have understood. But. You. Chose. My. “ONE.” And in business, you don’t do that.
P.S. Aaron Rodgers is cuter than you are, Brett.