I meet a lot of people offering similar, but different, services to those I offer through Just leave it with me.
My business offering also overlaps with many specialist areas within business services. I have never considered this a problem as I take a collaborative approach, and I have confidence in why my clients choose to buy from me. I also work with specialist providers to add value to my offering, and ensure compliance where required.
My clients find that this works well for them, it allows me to get to know their business really well and take an integrated approach to supporting their growth. This enables me to link what I am doing for them with the rest of their business, and ensure the message to customers is consistent, supporting their brand.
However, I have just learned of someone who has pushed their collaboration with me, into competition for my client’s business.
This collaborator, or competitor, is a small local business who I have had plenty of dialogue with, and who knows about my work with this particular client. So they decided to contact my client directly and offer their version of my existing service.
Interestingly I don’t believe they considered my good relationship with my client, and that he would contact me about it and ask me what I thought.
My response to my client was to give him a fair evaluation of the competitive offering. There was definitely value in it, but no more than mine.
The other business was trying to differentiate itself on one particular area which would, undoubtedly, add value to the client. But what they didn’t know was that I was already discussing this value-add with my client. I had been encouraging him to take the plunge on cost, for the value that it will bring to their business.
So rather than being able to nip in and take my client, this competitor actually validated my professional advice. They gave my client a second opinion on what I had already been talking to him about. Quite helpful really!
Let’s face it, it is very unlikely that any of us are offering a product or service that is truly unique. Why be threatened by competition?
I’ve said it before, but what people are buying when they choose to work with me, is me! And the more ‘me’ I put into working with them, the more ‘right’ it is. My logo is even a symbol for collaboration and partnership. This is what I am all about.
I will not be the right service provider for everyone, and neither will all potential clients be right for me.
I really care about the businesses I work with, I take time to get to know them, I bring a different perspective, and what I do, I do well.
My clients give me great feedback on how much they enjoy working with me, and how I support them in achieving their goals, when sometimes the distractions of the day to day business can lead to a loss of focus.
If they don’t value this, they won’t continue to work with me.
Collaboration is my own personal style, but competition is healthy and I welcome it.
There is room for all of us in this marketplace and we can all be winners.