Marketing Information

Eliminate Your Competitors With 2 Simple Steps

In business, having competitors goes with the territory. There's almost always someone selling the same product or service you are selling, or at least trying to solve the same customer problem you solve.

Not only can competitors out-market you and steal your valuable prospects and customers, they can put you out of business if you're not careful. Trying to fight back by out-marketing your competitors can not only get expensive, it can be frustrating.

But there is another solution. Eliminating your competitors is the easiest way to increase your chances of business success. And it isn't that hard when you know what you're doing. And, before you worry that I'm advocating violence, relax. I don't mean literally eliminate them, in the sense of doing something "bad" to them.

When I say eliminate, I mean ... take them out of your prospect's consideration set for your product or service category. Make it so your prospects ONLY think of your business, product or service when they are contemplating making a purchase. That way you get their business, instead of your competition making the sale.

What this means is if you sell widgets, you want your prospects to only think of your widgets when they are thinking of buying widgets. This is pretty easy to do if your business is not in a competitive industry. But let's suppose there are all kinds of businesses selling what you are selling, or filling the same consumer or business need you are filling.

How can you make sure your prospects ONLY think of you - and therefore only BUY from you - and not all those other companies?

Answer: By thoroughly understanding those competing businesses and then doing one of two things:

(1) Finding a position in the category you can own.

This will separate you from all the other businesses and will make you uniquely qualified in the eyes of your prospect to fill their need. This usually requires finding a specific market niche you can focus on, or finding a specific product or service attribute or benefit, that is of value to your prospects, that none of your competitors can claim or are currently promoting.

This puts you in a class of your own and virtually eliminates the competition. No one does exactly what you do. Or in the quite the way you do it.

(2) By turning your competitors into "co-opitors."

What the heck is a "co-opitor?" It is a competitor that you turn into a partner or a cooperator. Are there businesses or individuals with whom you could partner, with the idea of referring business to each other?

For example, a wellness coach could partner with a weight watchers clinic or a health club or a massage therapist. All of these practitioners are selling improved health and well being, but they can also be positioned as complementary services. And they could easily refer business to each other as an added value or service to their customers.

Or, let's say you are a web site designer and you decide to focus primarily on working with small businesses (a market niche). You could create a partnership with another web site designer who has decided to focus on large corporations. If you both agree to only take on business that fits your identified niche, and to refer business outside your niche to the partner, you both win.

You can partner with other businesses in your exact business in this manner, by identifying niches, by geographic area served, or by size or type of clients served.

And you can partner with businesses in different categories that fill a similar customer need by agreeing to work together to help each other get customers.

There is not a business out there that cannot effectively use one of these two strategies to significantly reduce their competition. So figure out which strategy fits your business best, and make it a priority to eliminate your competition this year.

2005 Debbie LaChusa

20-year marketing veteran, consultant, author, teacher and coach Debbie LaChusa, has developed The 10stepmarketing System to help small business owners successfully market their business, themselves. To learn more about this simple, step-by-step program and to sign up for her FREE audio class and FREE weekly ezine featuring how-to articles, tips and advice, visit

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