Extra Points: Do Your Competitors Inspire You? As the National Spelling Bee Co-champions Proved, Sometimes They Can


Christopher Schobert
Director of Communications
June 7, 2019
minutes to read

Pointman’s Extra Points series highlights lessons in leadership inspired by today’s headlines.

TAKEAWAY: Looking at your competitors less as enemies and more as colleagues might help you sleep a little easier — and be more successful.

“We all wanted to win together,” said 13-year-old Christopher Serrao following the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 30. “We were competing together.”

It was a historic ending to the wildly popular event, the first time in the 94-year-old competition in which more than two co-champions were named. Serrao was one of eight — yes, eight — to share the title.

And when the event organizers announced that the competition would end with an eight-way-tie, the participants reacted in a way that might surprise you: they cheered. It was a downright heartwarming display of camaraderie and maturity, the type of behavior that children often display without even thinking. Adults, well, not so much.

It was also one of those perfect how-would-I-have-reacted moments. As a business owner, you know these moments well. You read an article on a blog or hear a speaker at a trade show and then you ask yourself: “How would I have responded in that situation?”

In the case of the National Spelling Bee, the “octochamps” found themselves pulling for their competitors. Yes, after years of training, coaching and studying, the young teens were mature enough to see their fellow contestants not as enemies or threats, but as colleagues.

The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned eight co-champions for the first time. (Erik S Lesser/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

So … how do you look at your competitors?

There is no wrong answer to that question, really. But think about the time you spend worrying about your competition, criticizing them and allowing their success to upset you. It’s human to have these feelings, of course. But perhaps your business is better served by a different approach:

  • What can you learn from your competitors?
  • What do they do that’s worth celebrating?
  • How can you take advantage of the successes of others in your field?
  • Can the successes of others help you be even better?

The National Spelling Bee co-champs were genuinely inspired by each other. But that does not mean they lost their individual swagger. “I think most of us knew most of each other’s words,” said 13-year-old Saketh Sundar, “because we’re, like, pretty good.” Admiring the efforts of others, after all, does not mean downplaying your own abilities.

It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. Look at your competitors less as enemies and more as colleagues and you might just sleep a little easier — and be more successful.

At Pointman, our business coaches work closely with members to ensure they have the right processes and approaches in place. Your success is our success — and we’d love to show you what that success can look like.

4. Add-On or Upsell Count and Amount

Here, we’re looking at repairs sold beyond the original reason for the call. Every time you enter a customer’s home your techs have the chance to sell value added work, beyond the repair itself. If you’re training your techs to sell add-on products, don’t you want to know who's doing it well, and who may need a training refresher?

5. Agreement Opportunities/Sales

Maintenance agreements are the key to a consistent client base and essential for keeping your team busy during the shoulder seasons. Every time your technician is in the home of a non-member there is an opportunity to sell. Are they delivering? You need to know.

6. Future Opportunities

Are your technicians talking to customers with forced air heat about the improved comfort that comes with a humidifier? How about the benefits of water softeners or whole-house surge protection? If the customer is interested, but not now, you need to be able to follow up on those opportunities.

How much money do you think gets left on the table just by failing to make a follow-up call to reintroduce an offered product or service? Tracking these opportunities can be the secret to putting more of that money in your pocket. These opportunities are the gold dust that’s hiding in your business. With a little work, there’s a lot of money just waiting to be panned for and earned.

7. Replacement Opportunities/Sales

Repairing a capacitor on a 17-year-old condenser, or the pilot on a 12-year old hot water tank? These are opportunities for replacement, and your techs should be offering that as an option along with the repair itself. You can determine what you consider a replacement opportunity in your business. But regardless of the conditions you establish, you want to know which of your techs is making the most of them. 

And if they didn’t sell? See the previous item. You should be setting this as an opportunity for a follow up.

Have any recommendations for additional information you’ve found to be essential? How do you make sure your team shares these details after each visit? We’d love to know — drop us a line here.

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