The industry giants you compete with may seem like unassailable fortresses who will still be on top a century from now, but the truth is that many of them stand on crumbling foundations, and you can take advantage of their weaknesses to win some business. Here are three ways to do so.

  1. Often larger companies put numbers before people. They’ll shave profit margins from customer service instead of growing themselves by looking for new business. This might work for the mass retail market, but your customers are contractors, and you need them more than they need you. Leading companies tend to forget this to their detriment. You can exploit this weakness when you stay focused on the customer. Communicate often, build personal connections and work to meet their needs instead of seeing them as figures on a spreadsheet.
  2. Leading companies also tend to get into ruts of tradition, focusing on their “tried and true” methods, while turning a deaf ear to new ideas, especially from their younger thinkers. Suddenly, they’re Yellow Cab, and someone else is Uber. This stale ideology is a chink in their armor. Attack it.  Listen to the unique and new ideas from your own employees. Even if you know right away that they won’t work, don’t immediately throw them away. Encourage your young innovators to keep thinking outside the box by considering their disruptive proposals. One of them could turn into a gold mine.
  3. The bigger you are, the easier it becomes to ignore customer feedback. Often customers can see a shift in the market before business leaders can. Companies end up reacting to industry trends instead of creating them because they don’t listen to negative customer feedback. They would rather rest on the laurels of their positive feedback. It’s easy to ignore the small voice of the customer, but it’s also a big-business vulnerability you can target. Ask your potential customers about their frustrations and hangups with the leading companies they use. Their answers could give you just as many innovative ideas as the disruptive thinkers within your company.

Maybe you’re already at the top. This is still relevant to you. Is your own company susceptible to these weaknesses? It’s time to get rid of them and start thinking like an underdog again.

See more of the December edition of Dealer Digest here!

Articles in Better Business | November 01, 2018