Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
What are your competitors really afraid of?
Blog / Improving Sales Team Performance / Jul 29, 2019 / Posted by Roy Osing / 6368

What are your competitors really afraid of?


What are they really afraid of — your truth or their truth?

It’s definitely a combination of both: what they see you doing in the market and what they observe when they examine their own plans and strategies.

But it’s THEIR truth that scares them the most because that’s all they can control; they have no control over their competition. They see their capabilities and judge their inadequacy relative to yours. And even though they see the gap, they struggle to do anything about it.

And that’s the truly scariest thing.

This is your competitor’s “fright nirvana”; the perfect storm.

Your truth

Your value proposition addresses a compelling customer want or desire rather than a customer “need”. Offering what people covet or “lust for” attracts more attention and market advantage than simply providing a needs-based solution. There is a huge emotional component in the decision to buy what we crave — a Maui vacation — that is absent when we buy what we need — milk; as a result needs driven competition is highly price sensitive and the market tends to be a commodity in status.

Organizations that choose to create emotional draw should be feared, for they will be around for a long time.

You target specific customer groups with high revenue potential rather than the general mass market; as a result, your efforts have a laser-like focus that produces an extremely high success rate, unlike others who dilute their efforts across many market segments.

Spraying your marketing message across a broad market hoping it will resonate with someone who will be persuaded to buy is a high risk — low payback tactic practiced by those who don’t understand marketing.

You differentiate yourself from others in the market by being “the only one that…” Your claim is simple, understandable and believable by those listening. Competitors that try and carve out a competitive position that relies on being “the best”, “number 1” or “market leader” have vague competitive claims.

They are overused and are not credible as they can’t be proven — who says you’re best and why should I believe them?

You don’t sell, but concentrate your efforts on building deep intimate relationships with your customers, trusting that the power of the relationship will motivate the buying decision.

You are in the one-of-a-kind class with this approach.

Your sales plan is to deliver integrated value-based packages for discrete high potential customer groups, which serves two ends: first, packages respond a broad set of customer requirements and therefore have a greater appeal factor than solutions that are narrow in their coverage and second, packages are extremely difficult for competitors to copy.

Integration of the functionality required to deliver a package often involves systems and operations capabilities which don’t lend themselves easily for a competitor to provide.

You place a relentless focus on sales strategy execution. Leadership understands that a brilliant plan without pristine execution is worthless. You work hard to get your sales plan “just about right”, and spend copious time determining how to execute it flawlessly.

An expression of this is your leaders’ support of frontline sales teams; those people who serve customers and who own the company’s brand. They are considered to be the most important people in the organization and are so served by “How can I help?” leaders. To be enamored by planning would only conjure up a condescending grin from your competition.

Their truth

They rely on having low prices as the way to attract business; their margins are skinny margins as price competition is a race to the bottom. Their unwillingness to create value as the way to long term sustainability makes them second rate and holds them back; they know it but can’t make the change.

Their sales thrust is pushing products; trying to make people comply with and accept what they supply. Failure to respond to what customers are asking for — and keeping pace with how their demands change over time — is a short term myopic view at best and will never succeed in the long term.

Product pushing strategies come from poor leadership; nothing changes until leaders change and in the meantime, there is a collective fear in the sales force.

They use benchmarking as their source of innovation and at best have the potential to achieve operational improvements but will see no change to their strategic position.

Copying other sales teams occasionally changes their position in the herd of competitors but it never places them above it in a unique position.

In many cases the reliance on best practices is the only way they can innovate; they don’t have an innovative culture. They know this but are trapped; it keeps them awake at night.

They lack “loved leadership” and lack strong employee engagement. People are not all that committed to pitching in to help the organization achieve its strategic intent.

Traditional leaders populate executive and management ranks. Expression and creativity are honored in name only. Funny, this fright to most is subliminal; they don’t even know it’s missing.

They treat cost management as a high priority; managing sales costs down to preserve acceptable margins is their main emphasis. They outsource operating functions whenever they can to control costs — for example call centers and receivables management are examples — and they develop Internal systems and operating procedures with low cost as the main acceptance criteria.

This approach often leads to dissatisfied customers who aren’t happy to engage with the organization the way it wants.

They wage “internal war” constantly, arguing over sales and marketing priorities and generally causing dysfunction that takes their eye off what they are trying to achieve in the market. Their dysfunction compared to your internal harmony makes their fear factor soar.

A competitor’s “fright factor” largely depends on their own limitations when they compare themselves to others in the market and are magnified when you are doing the right things.

Keep pursuing your truth.

About Author

Roy Osing is a former president, CMO and entrepreneur with over 40 years of successful and unmatched executive leadership experience in every aspect of business. As President of a major data and internet company, his leadership and audacious ‘unheard-of ways’ took the company from its early stage to $1 Billion in annual sales. He is a resolute blogger, keen content marketer, dedicated teacher and mentor to young professionals. As an accomplished business advisor, he is the author of the no-nonsense book series ‘BE DiFFERENT or be dead.’ He is devoted to inspiring leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations to stand apart from the average boring crowd and achieve their true potential.

Author's Publications on Amazon

Leaders require context for what they do and how they spend their time. A philosophy that guides their behavior and the things they treat as a priority. Without context, leaders tend not to lead. They flit. They simply follow their nose and spend their time…
Buy on Amazon
It's getting tougher to develop a winning formula in today's business world. Competition is fierce. Customers are demanding, fickle and unpredictable and employees are looking for insightful and caring leadership. In response, extreme energy in most organizations is spent on trying to develop the "perfect"…
Buy on Amazon
Marketing 101 is in serious trouble. Its effectiveness is extremely limited. If you are practising traditional text book marketing, this book is your wake-up call. You are subjecting your organization to extreme risk.
Buy on Amazon
The challenge facing a leader in today's highly volatile economy is formidable. It is to create an organization to Stand-Out NOT Fit-In. Companies that fail to break away from The Competitive Herd and establish themselves as Unique, Distinctive and Remarkable to their Fans fade away…
Buy on Amazon
BE DiFFERENT or be dead: The Audacious ‘Unheard-of Ways’ I Took a Startup TO A BILLION IN SALES provides practical and proven ways for organizations and professionals to be unique, stand out from their competition in a compelling, relevant way and achieve staggering success.
Buy on Amazon
Selected by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the top business books in the USA. The Challenge for any Business Leader is to harness the energy from all parts of their organization to work in unison to win in their market. In practical and…
Buy on Amazon
Want to take your career to another level? Achieve greater success in a world where the competition for a fast track route to success is fierce? Roy Osing’s 30+ years in business taught him one simple truth: if you are not DiFFERENT, if you are…
Buy on Amazon
Comments (10)


Freeborn Egharevba commented...

Nice story, have really benefit from it.


Emmanuel Adesite commented...

really insightful.


Gemechu Abera commented...

Really amazing history I have gone opportunity to learn from “Your truth or their truth? It’s definitely a combination of both!”


Oluwaseyi Adenekan commented...

This is very insightful. I learnt that it’s better to build relationship with your customers and a few more . Very Impactful


Femi Atoyebi commented...

This article focuses on the competitors and greatly has alot to do with what an organization is doing right compared to its competitors.

It also speaks to concentrating efforts on building deep intimate relationships customers, trusting that the power of the relationship will motivate the buying decision.


Benjamin Yamusa commented...

Quote. Their Truth!
“In many cases the reliance on best practices is the only way they can innovate; they don’t have an innovative culture”. They know this but are trapped; it keeps them awake at night. I believe innovation is a key indicator understand their truth.
Quote. Your truth!
“You don’t sell, but concentrate your efforts on building deep intimate relationships with your customers, trusting that the power of the relationship will motivate the buying decision”. I believe this is a vital building block by your devised system that if suistained, it can survive and stand the test of time. Really Educative by the author Roy Osing


Zalkarnaini Abdullahi commented...

Very interesting


uzoh okafor commented...

lovely article very insightful


joy obi-Ajala commented...

very insightful.


segun Oyetunji commented...

You nailed it!

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. For information on cookies and how you can disable them, visit our privacy and cookie policy.