Are You Worthy Enough To Win In Your Market Place?
Andy Cummings the Fast Track Impact Coach teaches us a Valuable lesson in being the BEST
Are You Worthy Enough To Win In Your Marketplace?
One of the things I used to love to do was play sport, particularly rugby but it could have been any sport that offered a level of competition to stretch me.
However, it is not much fun being constantly beaten every week nor is it much fun winning a game every week if it becomes too easy.
I view the marketplace in very much the same way.
The marketplace is the elite competitor and like all top level competitors it is there to win, it will not roll over and make it easy for you. In fact, it would find it insulting if you dared to take it on unprepared and would gladly teach you a hard lesson for showing up on its home turf in that way.
It is there to protect its position from worthy competitors.
The marketplace seeks opponents it can respect and gets excited when it can take on the right challenger. It cannot resist taking on someone that might be better than them as that makes it more competitive, pushing them to be better and stronger to come out the winner.
It doesn’t just want to take on the best; the marketplace demands it!
Now it won’t be an easy ride for a challenger as the marketplace will certainly put obstacles in their way. It will hide things, change its game strategy and sometimes even the rules, adapt quicker to changes in the game environment and bring new factors to play. In fact it will do virtually anything to win!
So if you are going to take on your marketplace, like any worthy opponent you must make sure you are ready both physically and mentally.
Remember being in the school playground when you picked teams and the strongest players were always picked first? Nothing much has changed. The marketplace wants to play with the best opponents first, leaving the weaker competitors on the sidelines.
OPERATE IN YOUR FLOW?
When I was a kid I wanted to be an international rugby union player. I had some success and aged 18 I got to play against one of my childhood heroes. At the end of my playing days, all I got was bad knees, great memories and the after-dinner story of being run over by a “Jet Propelled Rhino”, which just so happened to be his nickname. As although I wanted to play internationally and had some natural talent, I didn’t have what takes and really it would not have been my passion.
Before you enter the marketplace game, you must ensure that you are are in your flow. It frightens me when I hear in some circles that you can be anything you want to be, as personally I disagree.
If you do not have the natural talent, you will struggle regardless of how much you believe you can.
No matter how much I learn to run fast, I am never going to be the same standard as Usain Bolt as I don’t have the build of a sprinter.
No matter how many annual reports I read, I am never going to compete with Warren Buffet, as I don’t have the mind of an analyst.
We all have talents and we can all develop a skill, but I would suggest that you apply them in an area that you are most suited to.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
So many people start a business without really knowing who they are dealing with. If your marketplace is your opponent how well do you really know them? How much research have you done on them? Because having a rough idea is just going to get you slaughtered.
All the top level competitors know their opponents. They research and study them to know their strengths and their weaknesses. They also know which weaknesses are being covertly hidden so to the untrained they appear as a strength. Before they enter the game they will go through countless hours of research seeking all the information they need to know, and more!
Just as important as knowing who you’ll be playing against, is knowing who’ll be in the audience ready to work with the winner; that’s your ideal customer. When I do an impact profile I ask my clients, how well do they know their customer. Many give me an assumption of who they think their ideal customer is without any substantive data on them.
They believe that having a fuzzy image in their imagination will be enough to win over the audience. But if you don’t also play to the audience, you could find the audience goes with the sympathy vote selecting the loser over you as the winner.
It stuns and infuriates me how little work organisations, particularly SMEs put into their market research. The big players could spend a year or longer gathering all their data before they launch a product into the marketplace.
An Olympic athlete trains for years to enter that one big event every four years; so why then do some businesses feel they can bash out a new product to market in a matter of weeks? You do this and the marketplace will rightly put you in the minor leagues, just to remind you that the premiership is strictly the reserve of those totally on top of their game.
To play at the top get to know your marketplace thoroughly giving it your full respect so you enter the game ready, capable and able to win.
DO THE TRAINING
Are you fit enough to play at the the top level? Remember champions are made in the training not in playing at the big game. To compete at the highest level a lot of hard work needs to go in before you are match ready. I once heard someone say that it took them over 20 years to become an overnight success.
However it’s not just down to training; it’s down to doing the right training! If you go the gym 6 days a week to take a gentle 10 minute stroll on the treadmill it will never make you a marathon contender.
However changing your stroll to a highly intensive workout, if only for 10 minutes, will make you fitter and stronger.
So spending just 30 minutes with a marketing expert to establish your ideal customer is only ever going to having you guessing. Whereas spending a couple of days with the same expert who will question and probe you and provide you with actual data would be highly prudent.
After all, can you seriously see the top brands only allowing 30 minutes on this exercise?
If you look at the top competitors in any field from sports to business they all inevitably have the best coaches on their team. They will be there to coach, guide, mentor and manage them in the lead up to any big game or product launch.
But just as with your training, picking the right coach is vital; you don’t want one that tells you how great you are all the time, you need them to constantly highlight the improvements to be made.
A great coach or mentor will gladly be there to elevate you to a higher game, and will never seek to hold you back. So pick the right one to be on your team. They will not only be highly knowledgeable, but they will also have had the experience of working with other champions too and will bring that to your game.
It’s worth pointing out that loyalty is great, but if who you have chosen is not performing then it’s time for a change in personnel.
TAKE THE ACTION
Nothing will happen for you to enter the marketplace unless you take some action. Action to find the right experts. Action to do the right training. Action to establish your competitors and ideal customers. Action to enter the right game, with the right talent and the right skills developed.
It requires maximum effort and action to make an impact in the marketplace. You are there for the full 90 minutes, as you can bet your opponent will be. Don’t take short cuts, they are not worth it. Easy is not always the best route.
You are there to pace yourself with a lint-term strategy so you can be in it for the long-haul; you’re not there to be running around aimlessly looking for the quick win. You are seeking to establish yourself as a leading contender in your marketplace worthy of taking on any challenger that comes your way.
So play the game of business like a champion.