How To Deal With Competitors In Your Space – Your Perspective Matters

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

Imagine that you are walking down a busy street in a big city. It’s all lined with restaurants. Every restaurant is jam-packed.

You see a vacant space with a “For Rent” sign in the window. You think, “It would be fun to open a business here, but what kind of a business should I open?” While it’s very natural to think, “I can’t open a restaurant, there are tons of other restaurants!” Chances are you are not going to be serving the same thing on the menu as the other restaurants in the area.

While you may be fulfilling the ultimate same need, people are hungry, you’re going to do it differently.

  • Maybe you are opening up a vegetarian restaurant.
  • Maybe it’s a meat-eater’s restaurant.
  • Maybe it caters to families.

Regardless of what you’re serving – Your food is never going to be exactly the same as somebody else’s food. And because there is a lot of competition, it also means that there is a lot of people. It means that people are coming to that place and they’re expecting to go out to eat.

When they choose to go out to eat, they’re going to have to choose something that’s open. If you don’t have something that’s open, they can’t choose your restaurant.

If you look at the World of Online Education and courses, it starts to turn into the question of, “Well other people are teaching a course on that. Why should I teach a course on that? They have already said everything there is to say.” Maybe so – but in all honesty, probably not.

I am no way advocating faking it; talking about a topic that you have no business talking about. If you have never had a job or gone to an interview or even written a resume, you have no business telling someone how to get hired.

If you have never driven a car – you have no business teaching someone how to be a Nascar driver.

We’re going to assume that you have knowledge and subject matter expertise on whatever it is that you’re teaching. There are a number of other people that are out there teaching courses on:

  • How to use Excel or
  • How to plan the perfect vacation or
  • How to make snacks for your kids or
  • How to exercise in 10 minutes a day and feel better about yourself

And…if there are other people out there talking about, it’s a sure sign that the market already exists.

You’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. You are simply going into a space where there’s already a market.

There are already customers that are paying money.

There are already people that are paying attention.

Based upon that – you know that you’re not inventing a new category.

You can reach people that are seeking that information with your perspective.

It’s your unique variety on life. It’s your voice.

This gives people your inspiration, education or even just the desire to learn.

Your voice matters. There are people out there that will like what you have to say – THEY WILL LIKE YOU!

Think of it like singing. There are a multitude of people that sing songs. You will never find a singer that says, “I can’t sing that song. Somebody else has sang it before.” If that were the case, life would be extremely boring.

You can also see this in:

  • Bookstores
  • Colleges – there’s more than ONE college you can go to!
  • Vendors
  • Cars
  • Airplanes
  • Toys

Variety is something, we as humans, thrive on. Having a choice is important.

Why does your perspective and opinion matter?

It’s all of the life experiences that have happened to you, from the time you were born until now, that make you who you are and frame your interpretation, perspective and everything that you’ve learned.

That’s what you’re going to be bringing to the students that you are teaching.

It may be the way that you say something that matters. It may be the way you tell a story that matters. It may be the tone of your voice or approach to inventing things or how you outline something.

Not everybody is exactly the same.

Not everybody is going to want to learn from the same style of instructions.

Competition is a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. It’s okay for things to be different.

If you have ever gone to a buffet at a casino in Las Vegas, there are a bazillion choices. Yet somehow, most of them managed to be eaten. It’s not like one excludes the other.

It’s an AND – it’s not an OR.

The challenge is to change your thinking from an OR into an AND – meaning – think, “Somebody else does this AND I can do it too”, instead of, “Somebody else does this so there’s no way I can do it because they’re already doing it.”

Nobody said only one person can teach, ‘The Eight Secrets to Keeping Your Kids’ Room Clean,’ or ‘The Sure Fire Way to Not Get Cut Off in Traffic,’ or ‘How to Chop The Perfect Christmas Tree.’

Knowledge is not appointed to only one person.

There is plenty of room for you to be knowledgeable.

Don’t be a fraud, but be knowledgeable.

Bring your best game.

Show up and teach others.

Teach others what you know by creating a course, so you don’t have to repeat yourself over and over again. Then when someone shows up saying, “Hey, can you show me how to XYZ?” You say, “Absolutely, I’ve got a course that does this for $47 or $9 or $579 – whatever it is that you are charging, whatever it is that your knowledge is worth, you can give them an all-in-one solution to their problem.

You may be wondering, how do I ensure that a customer chooses me?

It’s important to understand your competitors products.

Ultimately, your customers are going to buy from the person that they trust the most.

Trust is all about making sure “my solutions fit your needs.”

If customers can’t decide between the products, it’s important to be able to say, “They’re both good products,” but you can’t endorse your competitors, right? Well, no, but you never want to bash a competitor either. Tell your potential student to review both products and then choose the one that is the best fit. Of course there will be times you can say others have bought both products and they really enjoy mine better because of XYZ.

You don’t want to lie about anything and ultimately you want to take the high road. There’s nothing wrong with a little bragging about yourself and saying, “We feel our product is a really, really good option or the best option because of these three things that we have incorporated into it.”

If you don’t know what’s in the your competitors products, be honest. Tell them you’ve never been through their course before.

You want to leave the option of CHOICE. You don’t want them to feel like they have been coerced or manipulated. “You HAVE to buy my product or you’re a bad person” Or, “You have to buy my product or your nose will fall off.”

You want them to buy your product because of the features and benefits associated with it. Which also means that you need to KNOW the features and benefits.

You need to know what you’re teaching.

Why you’re teaching.

And what results you’re getting from your customers.

You can’t just say, “Buy my product because it’s mine.”

You want to be able to say, “You should buy my product because you said you had these concerns and it’s really going to help you with XYZ. In Lesson 4 we’re going to cover this and in Lesson 3 this other thing is covered and you may really find it beneficial.”

Treat your competitors with class.

You can’t make the competition disappear, but that’s alright. Accept the challenge – you will have a stronger business, trustworthy products and more loyal customers because of it.

Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

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