Eliminating your competition is the easiest way to increase your chances of business success. And I don’t mean literally eliminate them, in the sense of doing something “bad” to them.
When I say eliminate, I mean … take them out of your prospect’s consideration set for your product or service category. Make it so your prospects ONLY think of your business, product or service when they are contemplating making a purchase. That way you get their business, instead of your competition making the sale.
What this means is if you sell widgets, you want your prospects to only think of your widgets when they are thinking of buying widgets. This is pretty easy to do if your business is not in a competitive industry.
But let’s suppose there are all kinds of businesses selling what you are selling, or filling the same consumer or business need you are filling.
How can you make sure your prospects ONLY think of you — and therefore only BUY from you — and not all those other companies?
Answer: By thoroughly understanding those competing businesses and then doing one of two things:
(1) Finding a position in the category you can own.
This will separate you from all the other businesses and will make you uniquely qualified in the eyes of your prospect to fill their need.
This usually requires finding a specific market niche you can focus on, or finding a specific product or service attribute or benefit, that is of value to your prospects, that none of your competitors can claim or are currently promoting.
This puts you in a class of your own and virtually eliminates the competition. No one does exactly what you do. Or in the quite the way you do it.
(2) By turning your competitors into “co-opitors.”
What the heck is a “co-opitor?” It is a competitor that you turn into a partner or a cooperator. Are there businesses or individuals with whom you could partner, with the idea of referring business to each other?
For example, a wellness coach could partner with a Weight Watchers clinic or a health club or a massage therapist. All of these practitioners are selling improved health and well-being, but they can also be positioned as complementary services.
Or, let’s say you are a web site designer and you decide to focus primarily on working with small businesses (a market niche). You could create a partnership with another web site designer who has decided to focus on large corporations.
If you both agree to only take on business that fits your identified niche, and to refer business outside your niche to the partner, you both win.
You can partner with other businesses in your exact business in this manner, by identifying niches, by geographic area served, or by size or type of clients served.
And you can partner with businesses in different categories that fill a similar customer need by agreeing to work together to help each other get customers.
There is not a business out there that cannot effectively use one of these two strategies to significantly reduce their competition. So figure out which strategy fits your business best, and make it a priority to eliminate your competition this year.
Debbie LaChusa, 10 stepmarketing