As a somewhat seasoned networker that I am, even if I do say so myself, we are given the opportunity in these meetings, to give a :30-60 commercial about what we do, what type of leads we are looking for, what can we offer to help someone’s business, etc.
There are times, however, this can become tricky. I don’t mean for someone who may not be comfortable talking in front of a group, which is very common by the way. I am talking about when there are competitors within the same industry attending the same network meeting as you are.
Most common that I have come across are real estate agents, insurance agents, mortgage lenders, bankers, life coaches, etc. There are many more I can mention. But a niche like mine, radio show host, is somewhat rare. It can happen, like it has recently at a few of my meetings that I currently attend, where others within the “radio” industry are present.
Most radio station representatives are marketing for securing advertisers for the station in general, not necessarily connected to a specific show, as my advertisers are. Then there are the times when other “hosts” attend the meeting and their commercial is very similar to mine, looking to secure advertisers.
A lot of networking groups offer “lockouts” where they allow only 1 business or entity to represent an industry or market. That is a good thing as it protects the members and their seniority within the group. When new attendees arrive to a meeting they should be vetted as to their business and see if they are a fit in that group. Sometimes this happens andddddd………sometimes it doesn’t.
So what do you do when faced with this scenario?
I have been taught through the many years of my work experience that one should NEVER say anything bad about a competitor as it makes YOU, the one talking negatively, appear as the type of person others do not care to work with. SO DON’T DO IT!
I have changed my commercial on the fly so many times or in a one-on-one meeting, in order to not put any other competing company or individual, in a bad light. I always want to be the “bigger person” so to speak.
The next thing I do is actually compliment the other company for the things they offer that are positive. Be sure though that it is not anything that would impact your major benefit to the market. That would be detrimental for your business.
It is something however, that may come up at some point in your conversation with a potential client. They may directly ask you, “what can you offer that they don’t?” or “what makes you better than them?” or “why should I do business with you?” At this point the client is sending out a signal that they ARE interested in what you have to offer and is willing to give you the chance to sell them. At this point, MAKE THE APPOINTMENT TO MEET WITH THEM.
Your spot should be protected in your “home” network group. If a similar competitor does visit your group and pitches the same as you, SPEAK UP to the organizer(s) of your group in private and NOT in the middle of the meeting. Make it known there is a conflict. YOU should be favored in your spot given your length of time in the group, courtesy for being active, etc. Otherwise you could lose potential business.
“LET MY VOICE SPEAK FOR YOU”
Until next time…..