Does the thought of collaborating with one of your competitors make your blood boil? Is the mere thought of chatting with someone who does what you do make you want to run a mile? We’re often taught to be wary of competitors and to keep them at a safe distance.
Are you concerned if they know too much they’ll poach your customers? It’s possible they could steal your business and take away your turnover. You might worry they’ll undercut your prices or include extras you haven’t thought of. Maybe you’re worried they’ll drive you out of business?
Changing Your Mindset
Of course, it makes sense to watch your back when you encounter a competitor. You might meet at a networking event where you’re pitching for the same business from the same people. If you’re an independent consultant representing the same company, offering the same products, at the same prices, you might think it can leave little room for differentiating yourself. You might think, “how can I compete?”.
But, that’s where changing your mindset from competition to collaboration makes a big difference. Instead of stressing, you can relax. Rather than racing to be first to follow up each potential customer, you can take a step back and see the bigger picture.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
There genuinely is enough business for everyone and working together to achieve a common goal can be extremely satisfying. To be able to say to someone – “I can’t help with that, but I know someone who can”, or, “I’m fully booked this month, but have you tried speaking with…”, puts you in a powerful position to be remembered as the person who went out of their way to be helpful, rather than the person who wouldn’t share information.
Being able to outsource surplus work is another good reason to have names of competitors in your address book. Attending 4Networking meetings always generates fresh leads for me, and my competitors. Yet, people in the same industry can and do work together. I have realistic expectations and I’m always looking for ways to collaborate with others.
Unless you’ve invented something revolutionary, the chances are someone else will be doing what you do, or something similar to what you do. This happens in almost every industry across the world. It’s unlikely you’re the only plumber in town, or the only car salesperson, utility company, marketeer or life coach. If your business is network marketing, you’ll almost certainly meet a competitor at events. They may be from the same company or offer a similar product. Remember, there really is enough business to go round.
Having realistic expectations when meeting a competitor can open many doors to new customers and new opportunities. Instead of running them down, ignoring them, or being fearful of them, is there a way you could work together? Being open-minded to collaborating rather than competing gains respect and forges lifelong friendships.
I work with people who run businesses in many different sectors, from accountants, to IT companies, to freelance tradespeople, network marketeers and many more. Everyone has a common goal, to earn money to feed their family, provide a roof over their head, to afford nice things, and to grow their business.
I run Focus Guru Power Hour workshops via Zoom for individuals and teams to explore collaboration opportunities within your business sector. It all starts with an easy conversation about what you’d like to achieve. I’ll give you the tools you need to be confident in meetings when you meet someone who does what you do. Contact me on 07756 772950 to find out more.
Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way