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Let's Go One on One to Set the Best Competitive Strategy for Exponential Profit Growth

Apr 12, 2008
Much professional basketball playing today is based on the old rule of playground ball, "Beat the other guy one-on-one." Naturally, if you can also make a pass to someone who is relatively wide open, that works even better. That gives you two strategies that will succeed.

Basketball players, however, enjoy winning one-on-one more than they do passing the ball. As a result, you often see two players working hard while the others shuffle around not doing too much.

But the strategy that works for beating one player one-on-one often won't work against another player. when that happens, a team may do poorly because its strategy doesn't work under most conditions.

What mistake do businesses make that parallels that shortsightedness among basketball players? A great weakness of many competitive strategies is to assume that all customers have the same needs. A grave additional error in considering irresistible forces is to assume that all customers will be equally affected by the same forces.

That error often shows itself as having a single strategy applied in the same way with each customer. When you repeat the irresistible force management process, you'll discover ways to fine-tune your competitive analysis of irresistible force impacts to include an account-by-account consideration of opportunities.

For example, in a small account where there are few special and emerging needs for personal computers, Dell may have little or no advantage from irresistible forces versus a competitor that also does direct selling of built-to-order computers. If, however, two enormous financial services companies suddenly merge with operations in over 100 countries, only Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell may be able to provide what the customer needs.

The fleet-footed Dell should have a large opportunity in this situation unless it has failed to establish a meaningful service presence in some of these countries. If that weakness exists the case, Hewlett-Packard will probably have the edge, unless Lenovo has established a CEO-to-CEO relationship with the customer.

From such head-to-head comparisons can come a sense of the size of different opportunities, now and in the future, and what actions will be most likely to create a positive result for your enterprise. Pay attention to those one-on-one comparisons and you'll soon have a superior strategy and the focus to execute your competitive advantages.

In thinking about those opportunities, consider both the different competitors and customers . . . and the effects of extreme versions of irresistible forces.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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