“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”- Abraham Lincoln
There is nothing more important for a business than to have good character. Working Person’s Store embodies this character and thus follows a good reputation. The fact that Working Person’s Store has this good reputation makes it among the our most valuable assets. Our reputation is staked on what customers think about how we do business and how our business character is assessed.
Do we compete fairly? Do we run a smooth, clean operation? Do we treat our employees well? Do we bad-mouth competition or speak about them with respect?
Any serious competitors hold a unique perspective on our business as does Working Person’s Store toward them. After all, our competitors deal with many, if not all, of the same pressures and choices that we do. Having the respect of these similar businesses comes only from earning it. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to carry ourselves in a way that will deserve their respect.
We believe there are three rules to be followed when dealing with competitors:
1. Never Bad-Mouth a Competitor.
When competing for customers, it is crucial to ask which other companies the prospective buyer is considering. As the prospect names the two or three major competitors, it is important to tell the customer that they also are fine companies and that a choice of any of those named would be a good decision. Then it is necessary to reiterate that while the others may be good options, they will be happiest for choosing your company. At this point, focus on your company’s strong points while still avoiding any negative commentary about the other companies.
2. Don’t Be a Sore Loser.
It’s always a letdown when a competitor takes a customer from us, especially if the account is larger in nature. What tends to happen is feelings of anger. That is only natural. However, we have to remind ourselves that the future is uncertain, and that is okay. Those who dealt with the account may not agree with the decision made to leave, but it may open a new door for another customer. Even the customer we lost could potentially return down the road, provided we acted in a professional manner. The bottom line is to treat our customers as well when they leave as we do when they come in.
3. Always Be Accommodating.
There are times we have to deal directly with competitors. That presents an opportunity for us to send our competition a positive message. Even if another business is taking a big account away from us, we need to behave professionally, acquiesce to that company’s schedule, and handle it how the competitor wants us to.
The reward for following these three simple actions is seen and felt as professional business providers. Our actions directly link to our character. If we set goals to be the most highly regarded by our positive attitudes and actions, then surely a good reputation will follow.