A grievous error I was guilty of when first starting my business was viewing competitors as enemies. Was I not there to take away valuable sales? Actually I was not there to take away valuable sales, I was there to make sales happen and make money. And one key element I missed in the beginning was, my competitors, or other businesses in the same market were customers also.
Once I understood the concept that Competitors are Customers also, the whole world of sales truly opened up as well as the realization that I didn’t know as much as I thought. Other retailers soon became customers and alternate sources of product. Even if pricing was not as nice as my main supplier, it helped establish relationships and opened up many other business opportunities. And let’s be honest, some of our business associates party like rock stars.
As Opportunities become available, people may not want to assume the full risk. There are times when cash is not as available as we would like, and a venture, or product purchase may seem out of reach. Turning a potential enemy into a partner in crime can help offset risk or provide opportunities not otherwise available.
This is not an article about make love, not war, because the dirty truth is, sometimes war is necessary. But it is an article about a peaceful fact that war is not always the most profitable option. By changing potential enemies into potential friends, you allow them the choice of whether to load up the arsenal or the piggy bank.
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