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The Elite Performer: Compete Like an Olympian

Andy W. Harris
Jul 17, 2012

I still find it amusing when people complain or hold grudges toward competitors in the marketplace. While those who violate rules and regulations or act unethically do warrant complaints, ethical and compliant competitors should not. Competition in the market is not only good for your clients, but it is also what drives you to refine your skills, innovate and perform. Without competition, there is no doubt that our product would be more expensive and the service level in our industry would depress. If you think back to when you were a child, you’ll remember how often we were all involved with competitive sports. Competitive sports, whether it be as a team or individual, has shown to drastically improve the ways one will cope with the real world and adapting to navigating this world with other human beings. It helps you understand how competition works in a friendly environment, and if you try your hardest, you will have a better chance of succeeding. Competition does not need to be negative or unhealthy, but in fact, can be uplifting if used in a compliant environment. Think about the Olympics. How much effort do you really feel these athletes would exert if they had limited or easy competition? How long would they train? How would they eat and how long would they rest? It’s no secret that every world record broken was a direct result of competing against another or competing against an old record. Without competition, I am pretty certain the Olympic Games would lose the majority, if not all, of its viewers across the world. Every country takes pride in their team for this friendly environment of competition, and each develops and improves their strategy and training motivated by this event that brings the world together every four years. So, what are some of the key benefits of competition in business? Keeps you focused and sharp Working in a competitive marketplace will maximize use of your brain to refine and develop your knowledge of trade. Conversations with clients and business partners will improve as a result of staying ahead of the pack. Desire and will to succeed, perseverance and determination Competition will keep you motivated and looking to improve performance in order to earn and retain more business. As all things, change keeps things interesting in our industry, and the way one adapts and grows is only a matter of competitive determination. Earning new clients and client referrals are even more rewarding. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” ―Proverbs 27:17 Learn how to cope If you lose business to a competitor, you are provided with an opportunity to learn from it. Learn how to improve technique or adapt to different clients personalities. Find what works and what does not work, but more importantly, find a way to learn from failures and take responsibility rather than allow pessimism to linger. Increase productivity The harder you work, the more likely you are to succeed. Competition keeps us motivated to gain more business and increase our market share by utilizing our skills and abilities. Innovation, relationships and technology will continue to grow our industry. Tip of the month … Client objections are not bad. They are just telling you they are still interested, but have questions. Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431 or e-mail [email protected] or visit
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