I am a person that just does what I need to do on a daily basis. Nothing flashy or exciting. I am the sales manager and I take my job seriously. I have to in this crazy, uber-competitive business of office machines. Trust me...each day I have new attacks on the current customer base. I spend the majority of my time not only trying to protect my customer base like a shepherd with his sheep, but I try each day to find new customers, to open up new doors. Often times, you have to steal a client from a competitor, but oh well...que sera sera. They do it to me, so why not do it to them? That is how business goes in this day and age.
What I find extremely interesting, however, is when a competitor not only steals your customers, but when they start to steal your ideas too! Yep...that is happening as I speak. About two years ago, a competitor that will remain nameless, but uses a host of letters in their name, stole an idea of ours that was strictly in the planning stages. We had a great advertising idea to start using a superhero, Captain Copier, and he was going to be, like one of the local car dealers had many years ago, the mascot of our company advertising campaign. Nope--hold the presses. Turns out, a competitor beat us to the punch. How, you may ask? Coincidence? Hmm, not sure. But we had to move on and so we did. What was really crazy, though, was when we started to sell the enigneering, wide-format systems to local construction firms and places like that when we heard that...yep. Said competitor also began selling a remarketed brand of the same machines that we sell. Running for public office? Yessirree, got that covered. Same competitor. Went to extensive training for managed print services? Updating the website? Moving into a new building? How about purchasing a new vehicle for the fleet? Yes, yes and yes. And all of them done within a few months of us doing the same activity. Interesting!!
And now, I go onto their website to see what a current customer of mine told me about to find that they are now selling 3D printers. Want to guess what type? 3D Print Systems. Want to know who also sells 3D Systems? You got it!! CBM!!
End game: I guess that our lifestyle here at CBM is extremely appealing and that, as the old advertising used to say, "I want to be like Mike". Well, now they are trying to "be like CBM". Flattery is good but useless, so good luck with that, my friend. Character is a personal trait that you are born with...you cannot grow it like hair. We have character; we enjoy our customers and want to do what is best for them, not the other way around.