How To Deal With Your Competition Gracefully

So you have your own business, and you know your product is the best. The only thing is, you need to convince your potential customers that it is better than your competitors. Business is a competition, that's just how it is. It's nothing personal. 

Let's face it, it is a hell of a lot of fun to play this 'business competition game'  especially when you win. But there is this thing called ethics that you want to uphold and take seriously. This means demonstrating respect, honesty, and fairness to others in and out of your field.

WHY?

1. It's not your job to speak negatively about your competition. It is your job however to solve your (potential) clients problem.

2. Bashing other irritates potential customers, and can in turn lose their respect and business.

3. By doing so, you are showing a true reflection of your persona and creating a potential customer perception of yourself.

4. It's a small world and people talk. Bashing your competition will most likely come back to haunt you.

When marketing to potential clients, be aware that it is possible for your competitors name to come up. They could know you they are, are "shopping" around, have been contacted by them, are working with them, or have completed previous work with them. How you handle yourself is key to landing more sales over your competitors.

HOW TO STAND UP AMONG YOUR COMPETITORS ?

1. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE INSIDE & OUT

There is this misconception that if you target to a large demographic that you will generate more sales. FALSE! People want personalization and want to know how you can solve their specific problem,  not be generalized. Be as precise as you can. Here is a list to help you out:

- Age

- Geographic Location

- Gender

- Income level

- Education level

- Marital status

- Occupation

- Lifestyle

- Values

- Interest / hobbies

2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH PROSPECTS

As a business owner, building relationships is imperative. It takes a good amount of time and energy to develop, but in the end will lead you to success. 

I heard a great statement the other day that said " You need to always be warm in a potential clients inbox. If not, you are basically out of sight, out of mind. " I 100% agree with this. This DOES NOTmean you want to constantly be pitching them your product or services. You want to take that opportunity to gain their trust by providing them with value that could help their business. Send them over a free workbook, a discount code, even just a personalized " Hey! How are things going with you?" email.  By putting in the work now, will result in continued success later. 

3. POSITION YOUR COMPANY AS EXPERTS

In this day in age it is almost unlikely your business is 100% original. To set yourself apart from your competitors you need to position yourself as an expert. Once you are seen as an expert i your field, it in turn lead to higher paying clients, and unexpected business opportunities you wouldn't have received otherwise. How do you do this?

- Start a blog

- Give you audience FREE tips on social media

- Hop on Periscope or Facebook LIVE to give a mini lesson

- Host an email challenge

- Release testimonials from previous clients

- Collaborate with an already established expert in the field

4. BE TRANSPARENT

In the world of social media, where everyone puts so much effort into being perfect, put effort into being imperfect. Your content will start to have more of an organic flow, rather than feel molded to fit the current trends. You have control over what side of yourself you post on the internet, so why not make it genuine.

- Use authentic captions rather than an overused Marilyn Monroe quote

- Imperfect Flat lays that show what your desk really looks like on a day to day

- Having a bad day? Share. (Without complaining)

- Be genuine with your followers - comment back to their comments & interact with their profiles

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO STAND OUT

1. Creative Facebook Ads

2. Use Video

3. Relate trending topics to your biz

4. Join Twitter Chats

TAKE AWAY: Always add value to your (potential) customers. You want to focus on your business & how you are successfully solving their problems. Do not bash your competitions in the process, but do be aware of their presence in your market.

- Speak kindly of your competition or say nothing at all.

- Respect them, and others will respect you.

- If others speak negatively, DO NOT join them.

- Know their weakness, but focus on your strength and value.

careerAlexis Shaak