Why other Marketers aren’t Competitors
Q. Does competition really exist?
A. yes, and no. It is quite a complex question…
Let’s look at it from a client’s perspective first:
Limited time, attention and funds to purchase:
Competition for the dollar, time and attention definitely exists. Prospects only have so much time, attention and money to spend on products and services. Therefore you are competing with the various options a prospect has to spend that time, money and attention.
As someone quite directly pointed out to me in a Facebook conversation about the topic, “no-one is going to buy two cars or work with two coaches, they’ll choose one.” Fair point.
However I have seen on many occasions clients working with more than one Marketing service provider, and for good reason, keep reading…
Collaboration vs Competition
There are so many aspects to marketing, I don’t believe anyone can be an expert in it all. Therefore it’s better (in my opinion) to specialise in an area you really excel at, and collaborate with other Marketing Consultants to provide a full service where required. We often provide high level strategy services on behalf of other Marketing companies that provide the implementation aspects of marketing.
Building a good core of consultants you can refer to or work with can be a challenge, we’ll save that for another post. However once you have a good core team of reliable co-workers, nurture the relationships and work on strong referral relationships. Other marketing consultants are some of our best referrers.
Call me an idealist, but I prefer to collaborate than compete (except on a netball court, then I compete).
Comparing Apples with Oranges:
Taking the point literally… Over the years I’ve trained a lot of team members and once they reach a level of confidence, many have then taken their own journey, which is of course natural. I’ve been asked on several occasions how I feel about training my competition. My answer is simple… I don’t see them as competition.
I don’t mean to sound arrogant here. My answer is “Because they are not me, and they don’t have the same experience I have. Sure, they may have learnt a few things… I’ve learnt from other people also. However they have their own set of experiences and their own special skills and knowledge.” I’ve not met anyone yet, who does exactly what I do, the way I do it, with the experience I have. Just as much as they aren’t my competition I’m not theirs either.
However, that doesn’t negate the first point I made about limited time, attention and resources. So when it comes to pitching to a prospect, and we don’t win the work… It’s our job to make sure we communicate our points of difference and value to the prospect in order to deserve the project.
Did I do my part properly?
High performance is all about taking personal responsibility for your results. I look at these situations and ask myself, Were we a good fit? If so, what didn’t we do? What could we have done better? Did we communicate our value clearly enough in their language?
Competition can help you improve your business development and sales skills and processes. Just be open to the feedback and figure out what can be changed (if indeed anything needs to be changed).
In closing, yes competition exists and yet its not something to get too hung up on. Collaboration is very powerful in our industry. Use competition as a way to improve your processes and skills. Collaborate and build referral relationships with like-minded complementary service providers and you can create a great result for your clients, leverage your business and reduce your marketing efforts. I see that as a win!