If you can’t change it, then use it to your advantage

We hear people say all the time, ‘we’re going to position our business as the market leader.’ We say to them, ‘good luck trying.’ You might think that’s a bit dismissive or unfair on our part. It’s not as simple as a business deciding it’s just going to change its positioning. There’s more to it.

You see, your market position is something that your customers and prospects decide for you. You can try to influence them, but they ultimately decide where your business sits within the market hierarchy, not you. Once they have weighed up your offering and decided how your business compares with your competition, your position is fixed.

Now, there’s a lot you can try to do to influence your positioning. But it’s not as simple as a business saying they will position themselves as market leaders. It’s not up to them; it’s up to their customers and their prospects. Those are the people they need to work to influence.

However, if you aren’t the market leader there are things you can do to make the most of it. You can remind your customers and prospects that:

  • you try harder, because you have to
  • you’re not so big that you’ve forgotten how to do business with a personal approach
  • you can’t afford to lose work, every client receives your personal care and attention
  • you’re smaller, leaner and more responsive than the big boys, you offer faster turn-around, have fewer overheads and are more cost-effective
  • you aren’t big enough to dictate your fees, every customer gets excellent value for money and a fair price

The most important thing is to try to leverage your influence with your customers and your prospects. They’re the ones you have to convince; they’re the ones you have to prove yourself to. You can do all you want, but until your customers and your prospects notice and change their assessment of your offering, you’ll find it hard to make yourself a market leader.

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