Words are powerful things. I’ve heard it said that a person is only as good as their word, and that one should choose their words wisely.
A few months ago I was at a venue, setting up for an event. It just so happens that the DJ setting up in the next room over was from a local company that… well, let’s just say they haven’t been very kind with their words.
Just as we were finishing our sound and lighting setup, the DJ from the next room came over and asked if we had an extra extension cord he could borrow. I looked at the guy, then I looked at the case of cords by the wall, and I thought to myself “Huh. How do you like that?”
Recently I’ve been spending some time talking with some of my local competitors and other industry professionals. I am happy to have good relations with most of my area competitors, the type of relationship where we can call one another on the phone and “talk shop” so to speak. Sadly though, there are some with whom I do not have that sort of relationship. But that’s because some of my competitors don’t understand the term “friendly competition.”
Competition is a funny word. Pepsi has Coca Cola and McDonalds has Burger King, and each of these companies “competes” for market share. Each product or service has it’s merits, and each has it’s loyal customer base. Competition is good, because it keeps us on our toes, always striving to be better, and to find new and better ways to obtain and please our customers… or at least that’s how I’ve always seen it.
The hot topic of discussion lately between myself and my colleagues and competitors has been how some companies use “bad mouthing” as a marketing strategy. I, as well as the owners of several other reputable DJ entertainment companies in the Philadelphia area have been encountering more and more clients that will come right out and tell us “We met with so and so and they said bad things about your service”. Now in most cases this only makes us look good, because it isn’t a practice that we engage in. Customers aren’t fools, and have often done their research coming to us already familiar with our services, and the caliber of our product.
But not every time.
Unfortunately, some customers buy into the propaganda and the slander. Slander, by definition, is “malicious, false and defamatory statements”. I am more saddened that some potential clients would believe such statements than I am about the organizations, companies and their agents who make them. I would hope that the educated consumer would see through the “scare tactic” marketing technique for what it really is… the only way that company can earn your business.
That’s the key phrase… “Earn your business.”
If a company, any company, cannot “earn your business” based on their own merits, and all of the amazing things they have to offer you, but instead need to concern themselves with slanderous rhetoric, then that speaks volumes about the way they conduct business.
So what about that DJ from my unfriendly competitor who was in need of a spare extension cord…?
I looked at the guy, and I looked at the case of wires. I smiled, reached into my wires case and handed him the wire he needed.
Did the thought cross my mind about how I had the wire he needed, and without it he might be in a pickle, and how ironic that would be? Yeah, it crossed my mind, but with one small act of goodwill I saved a bride’s special day. To me, that was all the affirmation I needed. I’m a professional, and I can say with assured certainty that my employees would all do the same in that situation.
But you know what they say about karma. Perhaps on another day, at another event, another person wouldn’t have lent them that much needed wire in spite of the slanderous words that had been previously spoken by the company in question.
Cutting Edge Entertainment
DJ Brain illustration by Sean Gallo