A client talking to a career consultant about his consumer relations job in a company selling services and products:
– I have always thought that the persons refusing such an offer like we have during this time are simply crazy, are just nuts! It is such a good offer! One cannot simply refuse it! I do not understand why we are experiencing such a failure…
– Maybe those that you are addressing are not in the company’s target audience or you have not correctly calibrated the message for this time of year when there is so much competition
– Nevertheless, the boss agrees with me…
– Your boss is probably in the company’s target audience…?
– Yes, and he thinks exactly as I do, even though the results are late in arriving…
– I understand that in fact your job does not actually have anything to do with the satisfaction of your clients, but with the satisfaction of your boss.
– Of course! What else could there be about in this job?
We live in a society where an often message seems to be: ”your efforts are not enough”, ”you must strive harder, get better”. In such an environment, self-confidence is usually challenged. At the same time, too much apparent confidence in the supreme quality of the products, services or ideas that we offer, can be a dangerous trap. Here are a new bunch of dangerous limiting beliefs. Many salespeople, marketers, entrepreneurs and freelancers might actually believe these. It’s a path to self-sabotage them in the business processes. I will list them, then go into each.
If I talk badly about the competition, I might snatch a few clients.
My product is way too awesome to be improved.
I do things better than the competition and my product is better, therefore I deserve better results.
Developing new products competes with selling the already existing products.
If I go through all the content Marcus Victor Grant conceived on this topic and do all the reframing in my mind, I will be safe from entitlement in business!
Let’s now go into each of them!
1. If I talk badly about the competition, I might snatch a few clients.
Having a good product on a competitive market might usually mean that your product is better in at least some aspects than that of the competition. It is important to be aware of those differentiating points. At the same time, in most cases, it might be unprofessional to bad-mouth your competition proactively to get more clients.
I recognize that when some of your competition are plain charlatans, it might be challenging not to agree with a dissatisfied client. Still, it’s important to strive to emphasize the advantages of your product not in comparison with the specific competition, but in rapport with the buying client’s criteria. In the same way that your product is superior in some aspects, other products are superior in other aspects. Users might get frustrated by negative experiences with your competition. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that, most likely, they also have some positive points which initially attracted a market segment to the other product instead of yours. Also, please keep in mind that a dissatisfied client might be a client hard to satisfy by anyone. Therefore, take all the apparent opportunities of talking badly about your competition with a grain of salt, even within closed doors!
Talking badly about specific competition takes out the wrong message about you. It also focuses your energy on something which is beyond your control.
2. My product is way too awesome to be improved.
Small steps towards ensuring the development are necessary for the track of change. Any product, service or idea must perform a very delicate task. That of serving a balance between the needs of the buyer and the needs of the seller. If the buyer keeps getting the better deal, the seller might go bankrupt. If the seller keeps getting the better deal, then the buyer might choose the competition. To fulfill the needs of the client, there are some aspects that might make the product more competitive on the market. Some advice and observations can prove very useful.
The superiority of a certain product can be undeniable in a certain moment. That only lasts a period, until another product which tweaks its presentation, aspect, delivery might catch the eye of the client in detriment of what (s)he was buying from you.
Improving your product by making the small step by step changes might be a good idea. It protects you from making changes you can’t measure. If you want to change different aspects of a product, change gradually if it’s possible. This way, you’ll be able to measure each change and only keep the useful changes.
The world is full of two extreme categories of business decision consequences. Those who ruined their product by over-tweaking it. The others, who got their product buried because they were too inflexible. Neither extreme is good.
I agree, finding the right balance between keeping what’s good and performant inherent to a good product and revolutionizing your business is hard to find, but try to keep it! There is no statue raised to “never-changing businessman”!
3. I do things better than the competition and my product is better, therefore I deserve better results.
In business, it’s not the quality or the merit that gets awarded, it’s the science of business making. This is often a complex mix of marketing, sales, management, human resources and technology. Your contribution is important. Still, minimizing others’ involvement in the success of your marketing and sales effort is likely to provide you with some unpleasant surprises. Why does a certain company succeed when it doesn’t seem to have chances? Why another one fails although it had all the advantages? It’s difficult even for the most experienced consultants to pinpoint all the right answers. In the end, some things might not even have to do with what you or your competition is doing. Maybe the Government gives a law that strongly affects your type of company.
It is hard to make a correct prediction of what might make a company succeed. Everyone is entitled to their (informed) opinion. Even so, there are some clear predictions of how to FAIL in business. To make a product/service sell, it is important to take into consideration that the weakest piece of what must be an all-functioning machine might cause the entire thing to break. Definitely, the things need to be measured. First, you apply, monitor and take decisions considering appropriate metrics for your business. You will know why some results get produced. It’s not the efforts that make the difference between you and your competition. It’s your intelligence to appropriately correlate causes with effects and act accordingly. Fix what needs to be fixed. Leave unchanged what already works! Do you need to scale the business to a different level? Then either scale it progressively or break it and make it better! Whatever you choose, please don’t congratulate yourself too much. Don’t put yourself down either. Your choices have hard to predict chances of succeeding. The misunderstood success of today is the failure of tomorrow.
I have a challenge for you: appreciate how the competition is doing some things better than you. Then, ask yourself: if you were doing those things better, how would it truly impact YOUR business?
4. Developing new products competes with selling the already existing products.
This might be an issue for many companies. Still, it is not necessarily also true for you. You can make the most of any experience. At the same time, I do understand the need to avoid being wrecked by your practice. So, what’s an appropriate answer towards allocating your resources? What if you’d suppose that naturally once x months or years, you WILL NEED to develop a new product? Also, you would evaluate whether you should keep the existing products on the market. So don’t ask yourself if you will need to develop new products, but when.
Knowing beforehand of the need to develop a new product, you will be able to allocate at least a certain constant percentage from the actual products. Thus, you’ll sustain the future development of new products. This can be easily achieved by setting a small percent and increasing it each trimester.
If you set up your resources in such a planned manner, the development of new products shouldn’t interfere with the marketing and sales of the existing ones. Of course, a sequence might be important and useful. Still, don’t get yourself stuck on details! Simply begin with one product. Any product. Afterward, if it works, you can steadily grow. Don’t expect the first product in your sequence to be a big hit. I had this success: I launched a very profitable product when I was 19 years old. Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared to take it to the next level. Before realizing the treasure I had on my hands and how to develop it and build upon it, it went dead on the market, becoming technologically obsolete. Trying to make the next product perfect and not making the most of the one already on my hands, I failed twice. Once, I didn’t make the most of the promising existing product. Then, I got stuck in my perfectionism to develop a new product.
So, if you are smart, you can make both things happen. These paths don’t have to be in competition.
5. If I go through all the content Marcus Victor Grant conceived on this topic and do all the reframing in my mind, I will be safe from entitlement in business!
This is the 7th post in this series about how to avoid the life trap called entitlement in business. All the articles contain approximately 30 issues framed as limiting beliefs that might cause trouble in the marketing and sales business. Still, this list isn’t exhaustive. I chose only those beliefs that I have most frequently met in my consulting and marketing experience. There are many shapes and forms this temptation might take. If you know how to recognize it, even if you’re hit by entitlement, you might get ahead of it. Reframe it and avoid it, it will be easier to get free. Still, reading and implementing these posts at an intellectual level does not automatically free your life (or your business) from this trap. Once you have solved the consequences, you still have to deal with the effects of your past behaviors.
I invite you to get in touch with me personally. I can recommend you techniques and practical exercises that might apply to your particular manifestations.
Entitlement is a difficult maladaptive schema to overcome. That’s even more so in business since some believe they may get away with such issues. Sometimes, they do and those who suffer in the beginning are the employees, the customers, the suppliers, the collaborators. Therefore, if you personally know people who might believe such limiting issues as these identified through this series, please direct them to me.
So, there you have it! Keep in mind: the most important limits you need to break through are those in your mind!
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Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present Series started in 2017 and updated for publishing in 2020. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved.
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