What You Say About Your Competitors Reveals Alot About You


In a competitive marketplace, companies work diligently to find that advantage over their rivals.

It is only natural given people’s nature that individuals and companies as a whole should find ways to denigrate or marginalize their competition. By painting the competition in a negative light, one hopes to wins the customer’s favor and gain their business. These ways can include:

  • Misleading claims
  • False facts
  • Fear mongering
  • Planting seeds of doubt
  • Outright lies
  • Negative talk about the competition
  • Portraying individuals on the other side as people with poor integrity or character

While these practices may be effective short term (if they are at all), they almost always have a long-term adverse impact. Once the word gets out that these claims have been fabricated, the following consequences usually occur:

  • Loss of business as the account leaves
  • Lack of referrals from customers referring the individual and/or the company as one to do business with
  • Closed doors which diminish future leads and business opportunities
  • Loss of credibility
  • Negative impact on revenues, income
  • Reputation is damaged throughout the industry

In marketing, some of the most effective ads, and brands, are those that make no reference to the competition. Rather than paint another company in a negative tone, or give the audience a plug about them, these campaigns exclude mentions of the other industry players and focus on their message alone. There are some rare brands that do acknowledge their competitor’s presence positively; these are rare but still generate a solid message of integrity.

The best play in talking about your competitors is to acknowledge what they do positively in your industry, then talk about the points of differentiation your company has and how you can better benefit the customer.

Some of the most effective elected officials will acknowledge the other candidates and their contributions. They will still expound on what they can bring as an elected servant. Some campaigns are marred with slander, rudeness, and hostility which returns as an indictment on the originator’s character. Candidates who are gracious usuallly do well and gave a greater impact in their sphere whether they win or lose the election.

This thinking can go along in the interview process at work as well. Job candidates that paint others (that they haven’t met and don’t know) negatively will most likely, if hired, bring that negativity to the team and create a workplace toxin that is contrary to who they claimed to be.

What goes around comes around, as the saying goes. And what you say about your competition reveals alot about you. Stay above board, and lead with integrity. Whatever you give up short-term will come back to you in long-term standing and support.

(image: morguefile/Alvimann)

About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on April.15.2015, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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