A question recently came to me asking how to make the choice between friendship and competition. What do you do if a local friend comes to you wanting to join the company? The person who asked the question wondered how local competition from a friend would affect the two businesses.
My best answer to this is to share a personal story. A friend of mine joined my team many years ago. My relationship with that company ended and the day I signed with a new company this friend signed on with me. Both of us were excited for the new partnership.
Why were we both happy for the new business relationship? We knew that the potential for us each to succeed existed.
She was benefiting because she had me here locally to support her business. I was benefiting because she was able to reach people who might otherwise have not bought products from me.
A lot of selling is the salesperson. We make purchases from those we know, like and trust. The town I live in is about 100,000 people. There is no way for me to know each family here in town. Of all of the families I do know, they are not all going to buy products from me. Having someone else here in town who sells the products helps both of us. We are both able to reach potential customers that the other does not know. We both market differently.
Even in a small town, there is no way that one salesperson can cover the entire town. I’ve seen plenty of smaller towns that have two grocery stores, two realtors etc. Again, we do business with those we know, like and trust. I know plenty of people who will drive an hour for a haircut, for a doctor or even to buy a specific product from a shop they know, like and trust. In a small town, step outside of the town. Start networking with the networks of those you know. Offer those you know an incentive to bring you customers from other towns.
I’ve heard people say “oh, there’s a distributor for such and such company on every corner.” Yet, I find people in that town who are looking for someone to buy those very products from.
Unless each family in the town is being serviced, there is room for growth. Don’t say no to a new recruit because you’re concerned about competition. Instead say yes and watch your business grow.