The Coach's Corner

Archive for May, 2013

Please, no more rules

May 27th, 2013 // Tom Doescher //

My partner used to work in an office of 10 people. When someone would step out of line, instead of the boss confronting this person, they would establish a new rule. Needless to say, there were an awful lot of controls and restrictions in place for such a small staff.

First of all, Level 5 leaders (i.e. the best leaders according to Jim Collins in his book Good to Great) should wisely confront associates who are exhibiting bad behavior. Second, remember that job-seekers would rather work for a company that does not burden its associates with hundreds of unnecessary rules. If they’re considering several offers, they’ll choose the business that seems to respect its employees most.

The fewer the rules, the better — “Speaking the truth in love” equals higher profits and as Jim Collins would say, a business built to last.

Talking down about competitors

May 13th, 2013 // Tom Doescher // 1 Comment

We all can fall into this trap. One example of a potential talking-down situation is after someone leaves our company, goes to a competitor, and uses (steals) proprietary information/knowledge (I am not going to deal with the legal aspects of this situation; rather, I’m considering how we should deal with customers or prospective customers). Here are a couple of other examples of times we may be caught speaking negatively about a competitor: 1) We know our competitor has offered a lowball price, which they will not be able to sustain; 2) We know our competitor’s product/service is inferior to ours, but the prospective customer cannot discern the difference.

There may be a way to tastefully educate your prospect and open their eyes to any misinformation/misrepresentations, but my experience is that when you step into this dialogue, you’re usually the one who comes out looking bad. My strong advice is to focus on your prospect and your product/service, and helping them understand why you are the perfect solution. Provide examples and use customer references — especially people your customer may know in their industry.

How do you feel when someone else speaks poorly of his or her competitors? Have you ever made a sale by bad-mouthing a competitor? I would love to hear about it.

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

Sign up for Our Blog Posts

Sign up to receive our blog posts in your email.