competitionIt’s been a while.  I took a little bit of an extended holiday break on the blog, but am back and have some big plans for this site for the new year.  Look for some big changes in the next few months.

In the meantime, let’s talk about competition.  Something I hear on a pretty regular basis as I help our agents put their marketing and business plans in place each year is concern or questions about what the competition is doing.  It usually looks like, “(Insert agent name here) had a kick-ass year last year.  What are they doing that I’m not?”  Or maybe, “What if I did what (insert agent name here) is doing?  Would that work for me?”  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The real question is:

Why does what your competition is doing matter so much to you?

The simple answer is that you want their success.  The truth behind that is that your competition didn’t just become successful because of this or that particular marketing tactic.  The truth is that the success they are experiencing is more than likely a result of years of hard work and marketing.  Top producers in a market in a market are top producers for a reason.  They have put processes and systems in place, work tirelessly, market, prospect, service their clients, review, audit, rinse and repeat.  It’s not any one thing that they did that automatically made them a success.  It’s a combination of hard work, tenacity, and patience.

So, back to what the competition is doing.  Should you replicate it?  Maybe.  If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m a fan of stealing and making your own.  But, that’s the key.  You have to make it your own.  If you’re just a carbon copy of someone else, how are you going to make that sale to someone?  In the last post, we talked about being yourself and you need to be yourself in everything.  Let your personality show in your marketing efforts too.  That’s a big part of building your personal brand, in my opinion.  It’s a bigger part of running the kind of business you want to run.  A business that you control and that makes you happy.

On the other hand, if it’s something that puts you so far out of your comfort zone that you aren’t likely to be successful or follow it through to the end, why waste your time, money and effort?  Wouldn’t you be better off doing something with a far greater chance of success?  I think so.  So, if you are copying the competition just because you either feel like you have to or because you think that they’ve raised the bar for everyone, think again.  A well-planned, personal, creative marketing effort of your own can easily counter anything your competition does.

In the end, to make the decision on whether or not to use something a competitor is doing in your business, you have to look at how well it fits into your overall business plan.  Instead of thinking of it as replicating the competition, imagine for a minute that what you’re going to do is a new piece of software or a new service you are adding to your business.  Would you still do it?  Is it a fit for what you’re trying to accomplish?  Will it help you reach your goals?  If the answer is no, the answer is no.  If it is maybe or yes, then pull the thread on it the same way you would with a new software or service.  Is there a realistic ROI?  Is it worth the time and effort?

More importantly, don’t spend too much time worrying about the top producers and what they’re doing.  Rest assured, they aren’t doing the same in return.  They’re out there working their plan and growing their business their way.  You should do the same.  What I’ve found over the years is that your biggest competition is most likely looking back at you in the mirror.  Go to bed every night knowing that you did your best and you won’t need to worry about the competition.  They’ll start worrying about you soon.




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