We all know that real estate is a fiercely competitive business. Even as I am projecting to sell over 300 homes this year, I still find myself motivated at times by an intense desire to stay ahead of the competition. The truth is, at times, I am afraid that if I let up on the gas I will be passed up by the other agents in my market. As believers, we are called to live in faith and never to fear. We can’t ignore the fact that our competition is out there and they are getting stronger every day. But how do we respond? How should we, as Christians, respond to our competition? I believe today’s post will help you start to tackle that question.
S.Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, died this past Monday morning at the age of 93. He had grown Chick-fil-A to over 1800 locations and an estimated worth of over 5billion dollars. Cathy is widely known to be a man who embraced the Word of God and implemented the principles he found into his business. I wanted to share a story today about how Cathy dealt with a huge competitor in the 1990’s.
Back in the 1990s Chick-fil-A was a growing company and they were doing well by all accounts. However, the chicken business was taking off and there was new kid in town that went by the name of Boston Market. Boston Market had a very aggressive business plan that involved massive growth in a relatively short amount of time. Boston Market planned on putting up stores all across the Southeast and completely dominating the chicken business.
The folks at Chick-fil-A were getting extremely concerned about their competition. Like any good company would do, they brainstormed for weeks to develop a strategy on how to respond to this new threat. After weeks of strategizing, the senior leadership at Chick-fil-A held a meeting to discuss the options they had come up with. All of the department heads and Cathy himself sat around a large table with one goal: How would Chick-Fil-A create massive growth in an effort to remain competitive with Boston Market?
Each department would present its strategy and projections. After much discussion, tensions were beginning to run high in the room. There was no clear plan, lots of disagreement, and everyone could look at the expression on Cathy’s face and tell that he was not happy. Finally, after hours of strategizing, arguing, and deliberating, Cathy slams his fist down on the mahogany desk and the room is silenced. He then says this….
“If we get better, our customers will demand we get bigger!”
Those words became the starting point for how Chick-fil-A would respond to its competitors. I remember the day I was listening to an Andy Stanley Leadership podcast as he re-told this story. Those words pierced me to the core. I had been spending way too much time focusing on how to grow my business. I needed to focus on how to become better at what I was doing! For me it boiled down to one question: How can I provide better service to my customers? Forget about my competitors and figure out how to serve people better!
How do you believe we should respond, as believers, to our competition? What have you done to serve people better? I would love for you to comment and let me know!
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