Even if you’re not a fan of the UFC, you’ve probably seen your Facebook feed blowing up with stories about Ronda Rousey this weekend.
In case you didn’t see it, after a bunch of trash talk from her opponent Bethe Correia leading up to fight, Rousey delivered a resounding knock out in just 34 seconds.
Aside from a brief but intense event, there were two valuable marketing lessons to be learned.
1. Don’t trash competitors
Within the MMA community, it’s well known that Rousey’s father took his own life. Correia tried to use this to throw Rousey off her game by mocking her about it.
It was a tasteless tactic in the first place, but it backfired. While something like that might cause your typical person to fold up and cry, it will just enrage the type of people who compete in mixed martial arts. Having done my share of training, I can tell you it takes a certain mindset to for two people to pummel each other for no apparent reason. When someone offends us, we rarely sit in the corner and pout.
You see this approach in business quite often. Instead of talking about what makes their company better, many people resort to trashing their competitors. Don’t do that because you lose the opportunity to present your company in in a positive light, you set a negative tone with potential customers, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t trash talk all of your competitors. Besides, if you can’t think of something good to say about your own company, you shouldn’t be in business in the first place.
2. Don’t over promise
It’s easy to buy into the “fake it till you you make it” mantra preached by so many entrepreneurs, but it’s bullshit. As Correia learned in under a minute, running your mouth only takes you so far because at some point, you need to deliver on your promises.
You know exactly what you’re really capable of, so don’t make promises you know you can’t keep. You’ll create unhappy customers who in addition to complaining to you will likely also complain about you, which will impact your ability to land new customers. And time spent trying to put out fires from unhappy customers means time you can’t spend running your business.
Be very clear about your capabilities. You can take on new challenges as long as you’re upfront with your customers and let them know you’re venturing into new territory. It seems counter intuitive, but most customers will find this kind of honesty refreshing, and if you run into any stumbling blocks along the way, they will be more understanding than if you over promised.