Let me tell you about a story about when I was working in a business where my Managing Director was probably the most competitive person I knew. She was so anti the competition. We had to spy on them. We had to ask our clients about them. We were not allowed to talk to them.
We would go to exhibitions or networking events and we were told to ‘hover’ around their stands to listen to them. It was embarrassing. One day I met someone from the competition. I couldn’t tell anyone in my company. We talked about business, had a laugh and kept in touch. One thing I realized was that he wasn’t the enemy. There is healthy competition and we understood how to have this. In a joking manner we always wanted to beat each other and had a laugh about this. What this also made me do was be better. I stepped up to the competition and was better in the way I helped my clients.
Competition can also help us grow as people. When I decided to leave this company, who did I call? Yes, my competition. I went for a coffee and was given really sound advice as to what I could do next. Instead of treating the competition as enemy, the competition helped me in so many ways. Don’t treat competition as the enemy. Collaborate with them and they will help you improve your service to your clients, as well as give you advice when you need it.
What’s the old saying we all grew up with? “Keep your enemies close.” Remember this in business. If you keep the competition close, they will make you better.
If you want to build relationships with your competition, but you don’t know where to start, call me now and I can come in and advise you on how to build relationships in business. If you build strong relationships, you will naturally build your business.