Most of us think of competition the same way we think of Dracula: Totally avoidable.
You're sure they'll suck your blood, rob your ideas and then sneak away to their glossy dark oak coffin. But hey, you've been watching too many Dracula movies. Competition can be a great alliance. And it depends on various factors. So how do you work with your competition?
And how do you make them see that you're not competition at all?
It depends on how smart your competitor really is.
If you have to educate the competitor, and go through the whole grind of telling them that you won't take away their customers, then it's probably a hard grind. But it depends on you.
Two of the largest marketing sites: Marketing Profs and Marketing Sherpa were competitors.
Then they got into a relationship. And drove not hundreds, not thousands, but literally tens of thousands of members from one site to the other. If you joined Marketing Sherpa, you were actively encourage to join MarketingProfs. And vice versa.
Till some things soured, and they fell out.
Of course, now both of them have well over 200,000 subscribers and with it the massive management headaches of a big team, but hey, they did it. And you can do it too.
Now it's not all bad.
Copyblogger could be a competitor.
Jackforde could be a competitor.
Instead we're friends.
That alliance came from ‘competition.'
Which brings us to another point. If the competition is secure, they don't see you as competition. They know that no person ever buys one ‘gardening book' or goes to only one type of ‘yoga class.'
People will buy several authors, and avail of several services.
So your argument to a competitor should be as follows:
1) No person ever buys one ‘gardening book' or goes to only one type of ‘yoga class.' People will buy several authors, and avail of several services.
2) We know this to be true, because we do it all the time. You've done it and I've done it.
3) So if our prospective clients are going to use several products/services, why not ensure that us (even though we're competing), can be the first-stop for our clients.
4) Can we start with deciding what needs to be done?
5) Can we then see what we would avoid poaching?
6) Let's meet at least once a……………….(time frame) to review. And to make sure things are going the way we expected. And tweak things if they aren't.
7) This is the exit plan, if things don't work out. And let's exit with a lunch instead of a knife-stabbing.
Put a simple strategic plan in place, and you can work quite well with your competition. In good times and in bad 🙂