Look To Your Competitor To Score New Business

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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.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jes­si­ca is a senior research ana­lyst for Sales­Fu­el focus­ing on sell­ing to SMB deci­sion mak­ers. She also reports on sales and pre­sen­ta­tion tips for Sales­Fu­el and Media Sales Today. Jes­si­ca is a grad­u­ate of Ohio Uni­ver­si­ty.