People, Products and Price

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”

– Mary Kay Ash 

You can compete on price – and most often you will lose (both customers and profits.)

You can compete on products – and sooner rather than later, a competitor will match your selection or copy your technology.

Or …

You can compete by hiring the best people and investing in their development.

The latter is harder to do. But done correctly, it gives your business the best competitive edge. If it is hard for you to develop an outstanding staff, think how difficult it is for your competitor to do. Your people do make the difference – but the leadership of the company has to be invested in hiring and developing the best people possible.

One company that owes its success directly to its investment in its people is Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I was reminded of this twice recently:

  1. When I rented a car on my last trip – I enjoy having their employee walk me out to the car for a final inspection before handing me the keys.
  2. Reading a post on the Brand Autopsy Blog.

Here are the 8 criteria that Enterprise uses in their hiring practice:

Critical Customer Service Skills

1. A passion for taking care of customers.
2. A willingness to be flexible.
3. A work ethic based on dedication to the company and its mission.
4. An eagerness to learn a new business and work their way up.
5. Self-motivation and goal-orientation.
6. Persuasive sales skills.
7. Excellent communication skills.
8. Leadership ability.


It is not enough to just spot this potential when you are hiring staff. Each of these 8 qualities must be developed – and that require leadership. And… it requires a company culture that expects, rewards and embodies each of the 8 qualities.

How does your business stack up?

How do you compete? On price? With your product? Or with your people?

Share your story or your experience with our readers. Add your comments below.

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