Valentine’s Day is over but the season of hearts is still strongly felt. It wouldn’t be surprising if you knew a few people with some romance issues to resolve.

Although, perhaps the one issue that could catch B2B marketer’s eye is the idea of competition. Contrary to popular wisdom, is there really so much a difference between competing for a person’s affections and competing for that of another business?

Take, for instance, the feeling you have when a rival has more than what you can offer. What about the lack of confidence, cowardice, and even the bits of bad luck that trip up your attempts at qualifying a lead or winning a sale?

The reality is that the difference isn’t so obvious (it’s deeper actually but I’m sure you can read about that in a Cosmo). When you value something, then you’ve got to fight for it with everything you’ve got. Be it in business or in romance, rejection isn’t the end. Keep standing back up and trust in your dedication. Remember you aren’t fighting to win against the competition as much as you are for being recognized by the one you’re competing for.

One good strategy is to not challenge your rivals directly but to impress your target audience first and foremost:

  • Build up from your encounters – People say first impressions last but it isn’t always about making contact. It’s about building upon that with more meaningful engagements in the future. Your prospects want an encounter that would be a gateway to their future investments.
  • Giving the right ‘gift’ – The best gift isn’t measured with money but with trust. It’s the trust that your prospects have for your business and defines the value you provide them. You can start by making sure your product samples and offers aren’t about price cuts and quick use. Instead, make it about convenience and addressing urgent needs.
  • Be more than a good marketer – Even in romance, people aren’t so quick to dismiss practical skills that could be useful in marriage (like cleaning and cooking). Similarly, you shouldn’t just stick to being a good marketer but also good at what you’re marketing (if not more). Don’t just set appointments with a prospect and then demonstrate that that’s the only thing you’re good at.
  • Give occasional surprises – You probably have more competitors in your lead generation campaign than in your love life. However, perhaps it’s the reason why most prospects are less impressed by the many marketing messages they get through their emails and desk phones. Be more spontaneous and don’t hesitate to try things no other business has done before.
  • One-up Mr. Prince Charming – Most girls like the idea of Prince Charming sweeping them off their feet. However, even they aren’t always the hero (case in point, Shrek). Sometimes the real heroes are the ones with enough courage to make a case for themselves in front of their prospects. Don’t hesitate to find problems in your prospect’s current relationship to give yourself a distinct advantage. Antagonistic it may be, you at least give the prospects the benefit of seeing your competitor’s pitfalls.