Your competitor might have a better product or a better price. You might believe that gives them a competitive advantage, but it doesn’t have to. You can tilt the playing field in your direction.
Work Ethic: You can outwork your competitor. Honestly, it isn’t really going to be all that difficult to do. Most people do what is required of them, not what they need to do to succeed. Your commitment to out-hustle your fiercest competitors alone is enough for you to win. Do the work they won’t do. Do that work when they are sleeping.
People Skills: A person with better people skills can develop the relationships that level the playing field—and level their competitors. The ability to connect, the fact that you are likeable, and the fact that you care can create a preference. All things being equal, being good with people is a serious advantage.
Business Acumen: A better student of business makes a better salesperson. By educating yourself on your business, your client’s business, and the economy more generally, you are likely to know how to create greater economic outcomes. Greater business knowledge and experience is a competitive advantage.
Trustworthiness: Following up on your commitments creates a sense of trust. So does knowing what you are talking about. Being client-focused and working as if you are already part of your client’s decision-making team creates a gap between you and any competitor that doesn’t generate the same level of trust.
Patient Persistence: The willingness to stay the course long after it seems a lost cause levels the playing field, especially when it comes to winning your dream clients. There is a strong advantage in outlasting your competitors. Patient persistence doesn’t mean you hang back. It means you keep taking action over time and, eventually, you win.
Better Sales Skills: Knowing how to sell will never hurt you. Sales acumen is still incredibly important in creating a competitive advantage. Winning by intention instead of through a series of happy accidents is what separates the professionals for the amateurs, and it can tip the balance in your favor in a contest.
Desire to Win: There is no accounting for the desire to win. It is the kind of intangible that appears to be some kind of voodoo. There is something about heart, guts, and the will to win that gives someone who is fighting above their weight class an advantage in a contest.