Ace Hardware SalesIf you’re in sales—whether as a salesperson, a professional or a CEO—you have competition. And every one of those competitors has some kind of strength relative to your company: lower prices, more years in business, bigger staff, higher quality, more locations, etc.

The temptation is to try to match strength for strength: cut prices, hire more people, and so on. But that’s a dangerous—and expensive—game.

Instead, look at your weaknesses.

Too often we consider our weaknesses to be liabilities. The fact is, though, every strength hides a weakness. And every weakness hides a strength.

Take ACE Hardware for example. The average ACE Hardware store is only slightly larger than a gym locker. They’re never going to be able to compete with Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menards on selection.

So they’re not trying to.

Instead, in their latest advertising campaign, ACE is touting the small size of their stores as an advantage. The message is, you can “zip in, find what you need, and zip out,” rather than waste your entire weekend wandering around a vast warehouse. They’ve even trademarked the term “Speedy-Sized Stores™.”


They’re changing the criteria on which buyers choose their store. Instead of selection, they’re competing on convenience.

So, here’s the question for you: How can you turn your weaknesses into strengths?