Have you ever considered that your fiercest competition can be sources of inspiration to get new customers?  

If you haven’t, they can be.

And it has nothing to do with copying them or doing the same thing.

This article is looking at one element where you can look at your competition to get new customers.

It came about from a question from Heather Stone from BizSugar.

And my answer was about using the competition to simplify your business.

HOW CAN YOUR BUSINESS ESCAPE THE COMPETITION TRAP?

It is often the case your business and your competitors have similar process for delivery and distribution of product or services.

For example, when I had a software business the usual method, which every business followed, was to send out the disk in a box, and in our case as well a 165 page marketing guide.

We always sent an email to our new customers when the product was shipped and likely arrival date. One day I received an email from an overseas customer who was not happy it would take 7 to 10 days, although this was clearly highlighted on the sales page.

He said he would have been happy to pay extra to get it delivered sooner. Then we received a few more emails saying the same thing.

Now we could have done the expected and offer a faster shipping time that cost extra. This was what some competitors did but it would not have differentiated our business.

So we decided to step back to see if we could simplify the process for our customers.

The answer was one our competitors did not offer.  Now it is common practice.

It was to offer a download version of the software and make the guide into a download PDF. It simplified the process for our customers as they received the software and guide quicker at a reduced price.

And the benefit for our business was increased sales and reduced costs for our business. Often it is a case of following the clues customers give your business.

USE THE COMPETITION

For some who say ignore your competitors that is rubbish as your customers are not ignoring them.

Instead, use the competition for ways to get new customers. Look at how and what they offer and then see where you can simplify for the benefit of your business and competitors.

In our case, it was the distribution of the product. This method can be applied to all aspects, from pricing, service delivery process, your product or service features etc.

If you enjoy when companies simplify for your benefit then it is likely your customers will as well.

So look at your competitors, perhaps do the opposite and see where you can simplify to get new customers and increase revenue.

Over to you: As always, I would like you to share your thoughts. Could this simplicity method work for your business?

photo credit: Chris Hunkeler via photopin cc

This article originally appeared on M4B Marketing. It is republished with permission.