How to turn your competitors into your allies

Adam Strong (00:00.534)
Hello everybody and welcome to the Business Strategist with myself, Adam Strong, super pumped and super exciting. Hope you’re doing well at so great of you guys that are listening in either on the podcast, on your favorite podcast platform of course, or over on LinkedIn Live. So if you are listening to me on LinkedIn, please do me a favor, PLC post like a comment on the comment session.

on sessions below, that’d be awesome. And if you’re listening to this on the podcast, of course, you can reach out to me if you have any questions or queries, feel free to reach out to me. It’s hello at Anyway, what is today’s session all about? What is today’s purpose of today’s live session? So I wanted to kind of get some context about today’s session, but it’s about how to turn your competitors and turn them into your allies.

Okay, that is what the subject is today. And it’s really interesting, right? So I want to give you some, this is absolutely fascinating, right? I had a call this afternoon with a guy, with a chap who runs a online cyber security company, right? And his big concern was, he was so worried about what his competitors doing, and it was serving as a bit of a distraction, right?

And this was, and it’s really interesting when I said to him, I’m like, but this is what I wrote down before we even got started, I had no clue why we were on the, uh, I had no understanding of what his challenge was. And, and he was like, oh my God, that’s so weird. Anyway, so that’s what we’re going to be talking about today is how to turn your competitors into your allies. All right. And what I found in working with scaling businesses is that this is one of the big worries of what holds a scaling business backs. All right.

it’s because you’re so focused on the competitors and what they’re doing and not focused on what yourself is doing, okay? And so it serves this distraction of if you like, all right? Now we’re gonna talk a little bit about belief systems a little bit about today, but I’m gonna give you some, I’m gonna give you a framework about how you can turn your competitors into your allies. So if you are listening to me, do me a favor, PLC, post, like, or comment in the comment section below, say hi, of course.

Adam Strong (02:22.406)
and follow me over on the podcast, that’s over on Apple or on Spotify or any wonderful podcast platform. Anyway, let’s get into the gist of today, really looking for today. So let’s get into it, right? So the first thing that I want you to really think about when you’re thinking about your competitors, right? I don’t want you to see them from a threat perspective, okay? I actually want you to

I want you to think about how you can not treat them as competitors, but more as collaborators, all right? Now, I know for some of you, this might be difficult, okay? I’m gonna tell that whether you’re a consultant, whether you’re a lawyer or whatever it is, whatever profession you have, okay? I know this is difficult for some of you, okay? But I really want to challenge your belief systems right now, okay? I really want to challenge your belief systems.

So if you say in your mind, oh, my competitors are not open to this, my, you know. So if you believe in these things, if you believe in that, I want you to challenge that thought process, okay? Because normally the biggest thing that holds us back is our mind, okay? More than anything else, all right? So let me, what I was gonna say to you, let me give you some, let me give you a framework about today, all right? So first thing that I want you to think about,

when you’re approaching your competitors and thinking about how you could make it a win-win, I suppose, win-win scenario for both parties, I want you to think about before even approaching them, is I want you to use this first and foremost, is to think about why them, okay? Just why them as an individual or why them as a company, okay? Is it because they have access to the same market? Is it because…

you’re creating similar content? Is it because you have similarities in your brand identity? Is it that you are solving similar problems within your industry, okay? Or maybe that they have access to your market and they offer something slightly different, all right? And I really kind of want you to think about that, is to think about why then.

Adam Strong (04:48.97)
What is it that attracts them to you? Okay, what are the synergies? What are the, what is the energy? How is it exactly do you think from competition to collaboration, right? How, why them? Okay, thinking about that. So if you’re being approached by someone that’s potentially interested in working with you, right? What do you look for? Okay, what do you look for? What do you look for in terms of values? What do you look for in terms of characteristics?

What do you look for in terms of energy? Right, so I think this is extremely important. This is where a lot of people get collaboration wrong, okay? Because they don’t do the groundwork and they don’t do the foundational work before formulating good collaboration. Does that make sense? So I want you to really kind of think about why them. And isn’t just because you wanna get access to the market and sell to their audience, no.

Don’t think that because if you go in with that mindset, number one, they’ll pick it up straight away. They’ll know they can sniff a rat, okay? And normally, if I’m in a situation like that and I sniff a rat, I’ll be like, this isn’t gonna work. Straight away, I’ll be like straight up front, this isn’t gonna work, okay? So I really kind of want you to think, you know, a little bit differently, all right? So that’s the first part of the framework. Second thing is,

how can you learn from each other? Okay, so again, you know, when you’re sharing a call with your collaborators as such, your competitors if you wanna call them that, I want you to think about like how you can learn from each other, okay? What can you learn from each other? What can you learn about each other’s experiences? What can you learn from different people that you’ve worked with and it could be a different case studies. It might be that you’re

faced with a problem with a client that you’re working with and you’re just not sure which direction you should take them, all right? Or how you should advise them. Maybe your competitor or the person that you’re on a call with, maybe they can advise you because they’ve been in a similar situation. So thinking about that, the other great thing about learning from each other is how can you problem solve with each other, right? So there might be

Adam Strong (07:12.03)
as I kind of highlighted before, is that you may have someone that you’re working with. And you can apply this by the way, if you’re in any profession, whether you’re really an accountant, financial advisor, lawyer, whatever it might be, you’ve got your clients faced with a problem and you wanna help them, you wanna empower them, but you’ve got some gaps in your knowledge or your skillset, you know? How could you use that conversation with your competitor or collaborator? How could you use that to…

to add value to your clients and their clients. All right, it’s very important. Also the other thing, and this is really important, is to think about people’s strengths and weaknesses, right? So normally, generally, most of us, if we’re doing collaborations with our competitors, what you’ll find is you’ll find there are some crossover, but what you’ll also find is that the way that your competitors work,

are probably slightly differently, right? They have a slightly different skill set. They probably have a slightly different structure or a different process. What can you do to learn and refine and fine tune what you offer to how they do it? Does that make sense? And it’s not that you’re copying someone. What you’re doing is you’re gaining insight. And that’s what a leader does, all right? They try to learn from other leaders what works for them, okay?

And then the other thing is to think about, like I said, traits and characteristics, you know, in terms of like, you know, the way that you communicate to your clients or customers, you know, maybe there is a way in which to become much more clear in your messaging, for example, again, depend on what the context is and the circumstances, but what can you do to learn from your competitors? Okay. And it isn’t just about what they’re doing. Okay. It’s about.

how you can compliment each other. All right, so I really want you to think about that guys, really, really important, all right. Third part of the framework, and this is a really good thing actually, again, I kind of highlighted this, what can you offer to serve their clients? Okay, and how can you compliment that? All right, so as an example, right, if you have,

Adam Strong (09:34.058)
I don’t know, say you’re an accountant, use that as an example. Say you’re an accountant, okay? And you run an accountancy practice or so does your competitor, but you were thinking about creating an online course to empower small business owners to become more tax efficient or to become more compliant or to show people how they can save more money. You might be thinking about creating an online course. How could then you…

create a conversation where you can actually help your competitors, clients, customers, members, how they could help them. Could you set up a referral fee? Could you offer some sort of special offer or a trial basis for your competitors, right? So what can you do to compliment what your competitor offers, all right? So again, maybe you have something in the back of your mind,

looking at launching a podcast and you’d like to get some new ideas, right? It could be anything. It doesn’t necessarily have to be like in stone. Really, really important. So referral fees are a really a great idea, of course. And you want to make sure that you formulate that you want to make sure it’s a set up professionally. And there is an understanding between, you know, what is it that they’re putting out to their database and to their clients and

What is it that they’re gonna get back in return and vice versa. So there’s a provides a win-win situation. So that’s extremely important. So that is at point number three, a part of the framework, okay? Now just kind of wanted to check in with you guys, okay? If you are enjoying this, please do me a favor, PLC post like or comment in the comment section below, of course, that will be awesome. And if you believe that this particular episode is really gonna help someone,

share this video, share this podcast, all right? And hopefully it will give someone some breakthroughs. All right, very important. Okay, point number four. When you go in, say you’re having a Zoom session or a face-to-face with your competitor, the second thing is to think about is to think about how will the relationship work, all right? So there needs to be these clear expectations between

Adam Strong (12:00.95)
What is my role and what is your role? Okay, because if there is clear distinctions between how the relationship’s going to work, then it’s going to be far much easier in formulating and understanding how the working relationship’s gonna work. All right, very, very important. So how will the relationship work? And what is the expectation on their part and what is the expectation on your part? Right, and again, that is the…

equation or the secret formula to creating really strong, powerful collaborations. It’s only gonna work if you have that conversation with them. So that’s point number four. Point number five, and I kind of mentioned this already, which is accept expectations. So what would you accept and what would you not accept? So there might be, for example, you will accept

about the fact that, I don’t know, you need to put in 10% more work compared to your competitor, right? What you will not accept is they will not be held to account, for example, okay? So there has to be these boundaries put in place, okay? There has to be boundaries in place and there has to be these expectations of what you believe a good working collaboration is to you and what is them and link them together, right? So…

What are the things that you can work with and what are the things can you not work with? All right, that’s the only way that you can do it. Now, I know that I’ve kind of given you five pointers there by the way, ladies and gents. But the other thing that I kind of wrote down here on my piece of paper is a kind of a bonus as such is, how can you test something small that can test the relationship or the collaboration, right?

And we talked about referrals and cross pollination, things like that. But what if you was to create something together, right? Maybe it’d be a video course for your clients, maybe it’d be a podcast. What is gonna create, what is low risk, but potentially can create a high return or a high value to the clients that you’re actually serving, all right? So think about that, right? What can you do to create and test? And so,

Adam Strong (14:27.602)
One of the things that we do with our potential collaborators as such is that we work on a project and it generally is a small project to see how we both work, you know, how we’re both wired, how often we check in with each other, you know, who is responsible for what. It is basically the formulation of testing to see if it actually is gonna be working long-term. All right? So…

creating something small is low risk to you, low risk to them, but it also can create a lot of high returns for the clients that you’re actually serving in the first place. So I just want to kind of like point that out to you. I just feel like that would be, you know, that would be really, really cool and things like that. So just to summarize, and this is really important. Oh, actually last point, actually last, last point. And I should have actually said this at the beginning, but I’m gonna say it now.

your competitors will not, I repeat, they will not approach you. So the only way to make this work is for you to approach them. All right. OK, reach out to them. OK, you know, courtesy with respect, be polite, etc, etc. You know, using this formula that I’ve just given you. All right. OK. And just ask them if they’re open to a conversation, you know, because if you don’t ask, you don’t get right.

They will not come to you. They will not approach you. They may see you as a threat potentially, okay? But if you open the gate, then they may follow. Not everyone’s gonna follow, but they may follow, okay? You have to allow people, give them the opportunity, okay? But you must reach out first and take action. They’re not gonna come to you, all right? It’s very, very important. So put your ego to one side, ladies and gents, if that’s the thing that’s been holding you back.

and just think to yourself, okay, I’ve got to do the hard work first. I’ve got to reach out to them first, okay? Otherwise, it’s just not gonna work, all right? So in summary, and I just want to give you a quick summary before we finish today’s episode is, number one, when we’re thinking about turning our competitors into our allies, number one, we’ve got to think about, number one is why them? So I talked a little bit about

Adam Strong (16:51.542)
potentially being in the same market, same industry, how you complement each other, talked a little bit about solving similar problems, creating similar content, et cetera. But why them as an individual, right? Why them as a business, okay? There’s gotta be an underlying factor of why them and not somebody else. What is it about them that makes them so special, right? Thinking about that, okay? Really, really important. Second part, how can you learn from each other?

You know, looking at it from the angle of how you can learn from each other. How can you learn from each other’s experiences? How can you learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses? How can you learn the way that you problem solve and brainstorm? Okay. How, how can you think about, you know, uh, what’s going to say to you deliverables and how you can thinking about like trials and what they’ve done and what you’ve done and how you could, you know, what you can, what can you learn from each other? Very important. Third part.

What can you offer to serve? What, what can you offer to serve clients that is complimentary? You know, is it an online program that you could do? Is it the fact that you’re launching something and you could offer some sort of referral fee? Okay. And this is where the power of affiliate marketing comes in beautifully. Okay. Um, licensing, for example, okay. There may be some competitors. I know there’s competitors in every industry, by the way. What can you do to, you know, what can you do?

They might be following you on LinkedIn or on social media and might be stalking you or whatever it is, because they like what you do, right? But how can you turn that into turning into something that you might be delivering? Okay. And now listen, there’s only so many hours in the day, right? Okay. Everyone has a capacity in your business, but how can you, how can you effectively make that capacity and make it much bigger? All right. And using, you know, potential collaborators can help you do that, facilitate that, right?

Fourth thing, how is the relationship gonna work? Very, very important setting, getting an understanding of how that’s gonna work in terms of the moving parts, all right? Fifth thing, expectations. What will you accept? What will you not accept? What are the boundaries that you’re gonna put in place? Okay, how was it gonna actually work? And a bonus part was, how can you create something small

Adam Strong (19:19.574)
that is low risk to you, but potentially a massive win to the people that you’re delivering it to in terms of the audience, if that makes sense, okay? And then my last part was, if you wanna create more collaborations and less competition, you have to reach out to those individuals. They will not come to you. They will not come begging for you, all right? But effectively, the strength of the leader is to actually take action first.

All right, reach out to those individuals or businesses first. Okay. Cause they’re not, they’re not going to see you as a threat otherwise. Right. So that is what I wanted to talk a little bit about today. I hope that this has kind of been giving you some ideas and epiphanies, um, with regards to, you know, just kind of looking at competition from a slightly different angle, rather than kind of making it serving you as a distraction.

Okay, because there’s a lot of noise out there, ladies and gents, okay? But focus on you, okay? Extremely important, very, very important. Now, listen, guys, I’m gonna come to an end now. If you have enjoyed my episode, if you’re listening to us over on social media, of course, use the hashtag live, use the hashtag replay. That would be awesome. PLC, post, like, or comment. And tag anyone or share this episode on your own feed, okay, if you feel like this is really gonna help someone that you know.

Okay, within your network, in your industry, et cetera. And I hope that you guys that have been listening in on the podcast, of course, I hope that this has given you some epiphanies, has given you some useful insights, of course. So I hope that is really gonna give you, hope that it’s given you a bit of a breakthrough. And again, I’m all about disrupting your thought process more than anything else, all right? So challenging those belief systems that you have that might hold you back in scaling your business. So…

Listen, this has been an absolute ball. Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of course. If you do me a favor, if you have actually enjoyed today’s episode of course, what I’d like to do actually is we’re actually running something which is absolutely amazing. We’re gonna be opening our next cohort for our game changes in a circle business mastermind program where we’re gonna be offering. In fact, we’ve only got a couple of spaces left.

Adam Strong (21:47.094)
where we’re gonna be offering three spaces, no, sorry, five spaces, five spaces for free to come and trial out our mastermind, our business mastermind in person, okay? Now, if you’d like the opportunity to become part of that, if you’re looking for mentorship, if you’re looking for someone to scale your business, but you’ve been kind of, you know,

you’ve been hitting the ceiling and you’ve been doing the same thing for many, many years, and you just need someone to ruffle your thought patterns. Do you need you’re looking for some new ideas, some disruptions of new insights, then this could be the right thing. We can be launching over the next in the next couple of weeks, you can join our waitlist. So you can get early exclusive access to our mastermind program, of course. And if you would like to get access to that

for free as a trial, we’ll walk you through to the way it’s gonna work is that you fill in the waitlist, that’s step number one. Step number two, if you qualify, you will be contacted. Step number three, we’ll create a business strategy to help you scale your business and you will experience our mastermind program, of course. And if at the end of that trial, you decide it wasn’t for you, then guess what? You’ve got a plan for you, you can scale, you can go away and implement it or…

The alternative is we can help you implement it, all right? And we can cross that bridge and have that conversation as you would. So if you’re interested in learning about that, the show descript, if you’re interested in learning about, if you’re listening to me on LinkedIn, say I’m in on the comment section below, of course, but if you’re listening to this on the podcast, okay, the details are in the comments in the description notes below. Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode. Thank you so much for listening in.

and hopefully you’ll get some great epiphanies. Reach out to me. What I would recommend by the way, is to rewind this and re-listen to this because you always pick up some extra gold nuggets along the way. Anyway, wish you a great day. Take care, bye.