How To Out-Behave the Competition

September 17, 2010

Want an excellent book to read? Try Dov Seidman’s “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything... in Business (and in Life).”

This book wonderfully describes how products and services can easily be copied by competitors. The only “thing” that the competition cannot copy is human behavior — how you do what you do. As such, Seidman theorizes that the only way to consistently outperform the competition is to out-behave the competition. 

This out-behaving concept is something that many market-leading builders have long known, but have not been able to articulate. Clearly, customer-centric behaviors beget higher customer satisfaction, a solid marketplace position and increased referral sales. Seidman’s theories are 100-percent transferable to our industry. Case in point: Those builders who genuinely care about their customers truly out-behave those builders who do not.

Our proprietary customer enthusiasm ratings have proven that certain behaviors by sales, selections, mortgage, field supervisors and warranty teams are indeed the greatest source of customer satisfaction — and dissatisfaction — during the home buying experience. It is absolutely vital for home builders to measure these behaviors to improve and ultimately out-behave the competition. The most unbiased and potent tool to measure behaviors is a third-party customer experience and feedback survey.

The part I enjoyed most about this book is that it doesn’t teach us what to think to be customer-centric, but how to think.

Charlie Scott has more than 30 years of first-hand home building experience, much of it in senior management positions with an award-winning, nationally recognized Midwest builder. Currently, he's director of Woodland, O’Brien & Scott for Constellation Homebuilder Systems. Scott helps North American home builders grow their own customer-centric cultures, pursue operational excellence, and increase referral sales. Write him at