When someone threatens us, we instinctively look for ways to avoid, evade or protect ourselves from the perceived threat. In business, where money, security, and even our family's future rides on our every move, anyone or anything we perceive as a "threat" usually causes us to go into "protection" mode.
Once in "protection" mode, we close off to all possibilities except avoiding or defeating the threat.
On the flipside, anything or anyone we see as able to help us build our business, expand our reach, or improve our profitability, makes us instinctively think of ways we can use that to our advantage.
Once you understand this simple fact, it's easy to see how YOU can to turn your biggest competitors into your best Joint Venture (JV) partners. "Competitor" is nothing more than a label someone else places on you because they see you as wanting to get the same thing they want (from a limited supply).
In other words, if 100 customers exist, and your "competitor" perceives you as basically selling the same thing they do, and then the race is on to see who can get the biggest share of those 100 customers.
This behavior stems from a "scarcity" mentality of "The pie is only so big and I need the biggest piece possible!"
My advice: STOP trying to divide up the same pie. Bake a NEW PIE and get your competitors to *SELL* IT FOR YOU!
Any competitor you see in the marketplace can actually turn into your best Joint Venture ally and strongest sales person if you know what to do.
Your job is simply to find out how you can complement what they do rather than compete head-to-head with them.
For example: I sell an eBook (2 actually) on how to sell thousands of eBooks on the Internet.
The material comes directly from my experience of actually *doing* it - rather than regurgitating what others have done. Since I already have two eBooks on "eBooks" I have no interest in promoting someone else's eBook on the same subject.
In fact, I get rather snitty when they ask because it shows their complete ignorance of this principal.
On the other hand, what if they baked a "new pie?"
What if they created a piece of software that made converting Word docs to PDF a snap and cost a fraction of the price for Adobe Acrobat? What if they baked a pie that made it simple for eBook authors to automatically post their eBook for sale on all the different online bookstores out there? What if they created an easy-to-use system to help eBook authors get their eBooks listed on Amazon and gave me a cut of the action when I sent them new customers? What if they created a system that made it easy for eBook authors to offer a copy of their eBook on CD or in hard copy form without expensive set up fees?
NOW WE'RE TALKING about things that, in my mind, would immediately take them out of the "competitor" category and place them in the "I'd like to know more about you" category.
So if you want to bake a new pie (get your competitors to view you as a friend and seek you out as a JV partner), follow this three step formula.
First, step back from the marketplace and see what the vast majority of people in your marketplace are selling, promoting, or offering (they're all doing virtually the same things).
Second, think about how you can help them AND their customers get MORE of what they want faster by complementing what they already do and not competing with them.
Third, wrap your product or service in a way that your new ally can not only make more money or more sales of both your product and theirs, but also make their customers even happier as a result.
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