Last week I connected with one of my competitors. There was a common issue we where facing and we reached out to teach other. This took me a personal reflection. When I was in sales, there could have been only 1 winner – so I can trained myself to win – it was binary type of thinking IWIN/YouLoose. When I got into the internet space I carried in the same type of approach – anotherwords – kill off my competitors. Looking back, there was a flaw in that thinking – in sales there really is win/loose – BUT in the world of ecommerce – you are fighting for market share – so that means that you are never really able to kill the other guy, but rather take some of his market away from him.
When you look at it from that point of view, a whole other range of opportunities show up. All of a sudden, perhaps in a competitive space of 20 competitors, 2 could to an MA – and gain 10% market share as a result of the MA. So, no longer do competitors need to be ‘killed’ – but rather – some of them can be viewed as allies – where you really get 1+1=3.
So, in the past, in sales situations – you had to HATE and villains the other company – there was only win/loose. So, you would use that polarization to help your own team stay focused and motivated. Some of that still applies to broad markets – but there is no longer need for go for the KILL.
Anyways – in talking with my competitor as of late, I can see a whole range of options that could be beneficial to both him and I. I have a feeling, a gut feeling, that we could increase the value proposition to both parties by working together. I will keep track of that – as I’m sure there will be a lesson to be learned here!