I was asked the other day: ‘How should I deal with competition’?
It seems that another supplier of this persons services had moved into the area, and, more significantly, into their circles, their network.
The immediate reaction is often to be affronted; ‘I was here first’, or to panic; ‘There’s not enough to go round’.
BUT, as with all things, there are ways of turning this situation on its head; turning a problem into an advantage. After all, you can’t exactly ask them to go away!
Here’s what to do:
1/ Accept that they are there and have just as much right as you to target local business
2/ Realise that all the work they do to promote their services helps to ‘seed’ the market’ and show more businesses the value of what you do. They help to create the market.
3/ Look for differentiators – those aspects that make you different from each other; the individual strengths that allow you to say, ‘they do this aspect well, but we specialise in this other area’.
4/ Meet with them, confirm the differentiators and explore the opportunities together.
– They may be targeting companies of different sizes or geographical areas from you.
– They may claim one expertise but not have the resources to provide it. Can you provide it for them?
– They may be happy to set up a referral agreement whereby they pass to you the business that they are not best suited to provide and vice versa.
This has happened to me on a number of occasions, and each time I have been able to turn the situation to mutual advantage.