One of my team messaged me the other day to say that a sales guy from our opposition had come into reception for a chat (and a coffee), as he had been passing by, seen the TPS company sign, and felt comfortable enough to pop in and see me.
I was out of the office that day so I was sorry to miss him, however I was glad of his visit, which went along way to prove my point that competition can exist between companies without any nastiness. (I won’t name him here as I don’t have his permission).
Now you would think we should be all at loggerheads all the time and not fraternise with the “enemy”, but I have known this particular guy for over 20 years, but we have always had mutual respect over that time that we have been selling against each other.
Very much like my relationship with the Scottish lads at Dalziels; Harry, Hugh, George, Stuart and my old adversary Robert Clark (Clarky), who I have enjoyed a few pints over the years at events up and down the country. There is never any awkwardness when we meet, just an acknowledge of our roles for our respective companies.
It brought to mind in the early years of TPS, at one of the SFTMA shows, customers who passed by the TPS stand were astonished to see not one member of the Dalziel team, but four, all in deep conversation with me on trade, products and customers!
Competition should be like a game of football; kick lumps out of the opposition for 90 minutes, then when it is all over, head for the bar for a few beers, knowing that the best team won on the day. Just like the greats of the past, John Grieg and the late Billy McNeill; fierce rivals on the football pitch, but gentlemen and friends off it.