Wiping Out the Competition by Loving Your Enemy: Find Out How!
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In the business world, we tend to think of our relationships with the competition as an “us versus them” situation. In our heads, our competitors are the only thing that stands between us and whatever our holy grail is.
In many offices, employees are even encouraged to hate the competition, creating an almost cult-like atmosphere where everything their own company does is correct and righteous, and everything their competitors do is unscrupulous and wrong.
This thought that our competitor is our sworn enemy is an obvious position to take. We’ve all seen successful sports coaches in the huddle preaching about how it’s “us versus the world.” In the short term, this attitude can sometimes rally the troops and keep everyone motivated. But in the long term, is this really the best strategy?
Yes, in most cases destroying a competing business will do a lot to improve your position. But you don’t have to accomplish this through hate. In fact, you might find it easier to wipe out the competition by loving your enemy.
What Does “Love Your Enemy” Even Mean?
We all know that your competition is your enemy because they stand in the way of what you want. That could be a new account, a patent, a candidate you want to hire, or many other things.
But one thing that should be acknowledged is that your competition only exists because they have similar goals and passions as you. You may want to see them fail because it would benefit you personally, but you should still have respect for someone who is trying to succeed in a similar way as yourself. A lot of times, if you put yourself in your competitors’ shoes, they wouldn’t feel that dissimilar to your own.
Loving your enemy also means studying what they do in order to improve what you do. Maybe you think your ideas and processes are better than your competitors’. And maybe most of them are. But invariably, there is something your competitors are doing better than you. If not, they wouldn’t really be your competitors at all, would they?
On the flipside, by studying your competitors’ businesses you can also uncover some things that they are not doing well. This will be something you can exploit later. If you love your enemy’s business like your own, the amount of valuable information you will learn is sure to help you beat them in the end.
If everything that you do or say is completely self-serving, nobody will ever trust what you have to say. That is true in your personal life as well as in the business world. When your competitor makes a smart move, comes out with a great product, or lands a big account, you would in most cases be better served long term to compliment them.
Why should you ever compliment your competitor? Well, if they do something that is universally applauded, but you speak negatively about it, you will paint your company as being untruthful. If you are untruthful, you are untrustworthy. And if you are untrustworthy, customers will be less likely to partake in your services.
However, if you show the ability to be objective even when that means complimenting your enemy, you will make everything you say and do much more credible. Now when you make a statement about your own business, people are less likely to be skeptical.
Make Them Comfortable
You wouldn’t go into a ring with a lion and start by yanking on his tail, would you? Of course not. What you’d probably do is talk softly to him in an attempt to keep him calm. You’d rather he feel comfortable than cornered. The same holds true for your competitors.
Just because you think of them as your enemy doesn’t mean you have to poke and prod them. Let them get as comfortable as possible. Comfortable people don’t tend to work as hard. They are less likely to push their limits and create new streams of revenue. And as we all know, when a business becomes stagnant, that business will start to find itself in trouble.
So be kind to your competitor. Talk softly to them until they fall asleep. Then push your business hard and wipe them out!
About the Author:
Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s pioneer and leading providers of Management Courses and certificate iv in training and assessment. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging about career and business. Patrick is also a photography enthusiast and is currently running a photography studio in the Philippines. If you have a blog and would like to feature his works, you can find him on Google+.