Jeff Judy

Jeff's Thoughts - August 8 , 2007

Pet Peeve: Striving for Mediocrity II

In the last issue of Jeff's Thoughts, I mentioned how some participants in my seminars and classes pull out their "trump card" to dismiss discussions of best practices in financial services:

"We'd like to do that, but we have to match the competition."

What does that really mean? If another financial services provider is silly enough to charge low rates to high-risk borrowers, so will you. If a competitor is willing to cut costs to the point that customers actively dislike doing business with them, well, so should you.

Doing exactly what everyone else does means that you'll just be one more "typical" provider, with nothing to distinquish you from the competition. If you'd rather be the most successful provider in your market:

It takes guts, frankly, to put the lofty words from your annual report and your mission statement -- all that stuff about being a great performer, leading your market, standing out from the competition -- into action. Make sure you know the difference between monitoring the competition, and using the competition as an excuse for taking the easy way out . . . the easy way to mediocrity in your market.