Your next big client could actually come from working with your competitor. If you haven’t ever considered checking out the competition’s client list, you could be missing out on big opportunities. “For many small business owners, the idea of working with the competition can make their blood boil,” writes David Finkel for Inc. “But after twenty-five years of business coaching, I can tell you that some of best boosts in profit and revenue come from thinking outside of the box.” He shares how reps can tap into their competitor’s customer base to add to their own.
One tactic is to buy or swap out stale or old leads. One person’s failed lead could be another person’s dream client. Whether you decide upon a swap, a charge, or some other mutually beneficial agreement, this strategy could prove very valuable. He also suggests passing along active leads that just aren’t going to work out. While you might not have clients that complement one another, it’s a possibility that is certainly worth exploring.
He also encourages reps to keep a close eye on their competitors and what they are doing. “When it comes to competition some small business owners will put their blinders on when it comes to what their competitors are doing,” he points out. “I strongly suggest that you pay attention.” Take a look at what’s working for them and consider if and how that can be applied to your own sales strategy and business model. Also, watch out for what isn’t working and learn from their missteps. Not everything a competitor does is a smart business decision, so be thoughtful about how their approach would work specifically for you.
These are only two of Finkel’s tips, and overall, they all are definitely not the run-of-the-mill sales advice you’ve received over the years. While it may seem counterintuitive, working with a competitor can help rather than hinder your own success. Embrace Finkel’s out-of-the-box thinking and try this new path to new business.