Good morning from Fritz! As you know, I help mom with her business and periodically need to weigh in here at her blog. We were talking on our walk yesterday about how I size up the competition so I thought I would share it with you too.
Generally, I take mom for a walk around our neighborhood in the morning. Â There are three types of greetings we receive from the other dogs in the neighborhood who are in or around their homes. There are three types of reactions we get and it is the same in business.
Type One – Don’t Step In My Territory. Â These are the dogs, er… I mean people who don’t want you in their space. They don’t care what you are doing, what you want or anything about you. They just want you out of their space. Some of them are mean and those you just tuck tail and go away. You know the types – you meet them at a networking meeting and wonder what the heck they are doing there. Â Others want to make sure you aren’t their competition before they will talk to you. Â If you want to deal with these people you can, but it is best to know who they are and what they do first. Â Then you can approach and explain you aren’t in their territory before they get their backs up.
Type Two -What’s Up? Â These guys are just checking things out. They don’t have an agenda and don’t know if you do so they’re just asking. Â I like these people because they don’t judge without information. Â I usually end up playing with these guys.
Type Three – Let’s Play These are the ones that run up at networking events to meet you and are all excited to be there. They want to find a way to work with you whether you are ready or not. Â Sometimes I want to play and that’s good, but if I don’t, these guys are a little overwhelming. Another challenge here is if they don’t want to play the same game. Â There are these two dogs that live behind a giant fence but they don’t even know how to play “run the fence”. Â I mean, seriously? But I digress.
For each type, there are ways to approach and engage them, or you can leave them alone. Â Territory protectors are going to seem aggressive until they know you aren’t a threat. Â When approaching them, you can go in and show them your tummy or you can firmly explain your position. Â In the first way, you are giving them the upper hand which will usually pacify them. Â In the other, you are taking your own power but not in a way to threaten them. Either way this interaction is a power balance so decide where the power should be. Â If you don’t want to engage them, you can just walk away and they won’t care.
For Type Two, you want to approach with the same attitude. Â You will both ask questions of the other, get a sense of what each does and see where things can go. Â Generally they won’t have a decision made about you until you’ve spoken which is nice. Â If you don’t want to engage these people, you can just smile and nod – and keep going.
For Type Three, you will be approached. There’s no getting around it. Â When the person arrives, decide if you want to play or not. Â If you do, be patient – it may take some time to teach them how to run up and down the fence and why it is so much darn fun! Â If you don’t want to engage, this will be more difficult. Â The best way is to send them on to someone else – preferably another player.
And finally, if there’s a bunny around, those have to be chased as far away as possible for the good of all. Â Period.