Frank Belzer's post about Chinese work ethic and competition highlights something most people don't want to think about. The competitive landscape has changed forever.
Putting aside the impact of increased globalization, and the rise of China and India, America's challenges with the deficit, tax and monetary policy and unemployment just to mention a few: they aren't going away anytime soon.
People are smarter and more cautious, armed with information which may well be inaccurate. Witness the healthcare debate, under tremendous pressure to make the "correct decision", fearful about losing their jobs and feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
Competition comes in many forms and from different places. It's direct or indirect, external and internal, foreign or domestic, price based or value based and outside your control or self-inflected. Success will be more difficult to achieve than ever before and, like the economic situation, this won't change anytime soon.
I'll leave you with some questions to ask and find answers to:
- How do prospects and customers see you, as vendors or someone of higher value?
- Do you and your company position yourselves as advisors and, if so, do you act the part?
- Do you know specifically what your competition does better than you?
- Are you doing everything you can to impact the sales process even when you are not in control?
- How has your value proposition been affected by the economy?
- Are you mentally and emotionally tough enough to fight through these changing conditions to ultimately prosper?