Last week I was at a networking event and went to say hello to a visitor, and to book a 10 minute chat with her. She took a look at my name badge and asked if I want to meet with her as she is also a marketer.
Absolutely! Of course I do!
Firstly, there are plenty of businesses out there, and no one of us can handle everyone on our own. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a marketer, an accountant, a personal trainer or a decorator or anything in between, we can only work effectively with a finite amount of customers or clients.
Secondly, what I do is quite specific and unique. And what she does, as it turns out, is quite specific and unique. But what she offers is different to what I offer. And so, although we may both fit under the general heading of “marketing”, we actually offer different services. (Which is why I personally think it’s short-sighted of some networking organisations to limit membership to one profession per group).
Thirdly, because we offer different things, we can easily collaborate on and refer clients. She can do the bit I don’t do, and vice versa. That’s not to say I CAN’T do what she does, and she couldn’t do what I do. It does say that we both specialise in our particular niches because that’s what we love doing and can therefore offer our clients the very best of us. And we’ll be very happy doing it.
Fourth, IF we did EXACTLY the same thing – she may prefer to work with one type of client, whilst I would prefer to work with another. So if I get the clients along who I don’t really ‘get’ but she loves, then I can pass them on. And vice versa.
And finally, even if we did exactly the same thing to exactly the same kind of clients (kind of unlikely, but bear with me), then client A may hate me on sight and love her, client B may hate her on sight and love me. We do business with who we know, LIKE and trust.
And above everything else, it’s great to chat to someone else in your profession who understands what you’re on about and the highs and the lows of what you do, so there’s potentially a new friend in the offing.
So, don’t see your competitors as “competitors”. See them instead as potential new business partners, trusted collaborators, someone to learn from, or new friends. Seek them out at networking events and have a coffee with them. You might be surprised at the new business that follows!
Have a great week,
See you next time,
Dedicated to your success,