When you’re just starting a new business, you want to make sure that you can offer your customers things that your competitors can’t. If you want to remain in business and ahead of your competition, it’s best to try to best them whenever you get the chance. Right?
Well, that’s actually not such an easy question to answer. Sometimes, believe it or not, there can be times when it is beneficial to you to refer your clients to your competitors.
For this to make sense, just think about how networking works. To grow your business, you need to make connections within your area and then throughout the industry via social media, conferences, and the like. From time to time, fostering those connections and relationships within the industry mean turning your clients towards a competitor.
That’s not to say that you send clients away if you can comfortably meet their needs. As a matter of fact, if your client wants something specific that you can’t offer but you know of a competitor that does, it is your responsibility to direct them towards where they can get their needs met.
Don’t Fight Competitors – Align with Them
This not only lets your client know that you are willing to go above and beyond for them, but it also forms something of an alliance with your competition. For certain interconnected industries, this can be extremely advantageous. For instance, if you own a silk screen printing business, it makes strategic sense to align yourself with someone that does embroidery.
The “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours mode of business comes into play here. By sending your clients to a competitor, the favor will likely be returned at some point in the future. This is industry networking at its best.
Show Clients You’re Interested in More than Just Their Money
Perhaps the most important thing that can come from promoting your competition is that you are letting your client know that you are not only interested in getting their money. It shows them that you care greatly for their satisfaction, even if it means directing their business elsewhere. This all but ensures that they will be returning to you in the future.
Isn’t it sort of funny how referring a client to a competitor is a great stimulant for brand loyalty on your end?