Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Know Thine Enemy

If you could help the enemy? Would you?

What would you tell them? Why would you do it? Would it hurt anyone? Would it help your business?

Strange mergers over the years started because someone went to their enemy/competitor and asked the basic question, "What if we..."

In these economically challenged times almost anything is possible. Banks suddenly thank you for short selling your house so they don't have to deal with it. Credit card companies offering up to 5 year fixed payment plans for those in need. Car companies will take your car back if you can't make payments, with no problems afterward.

So why not ring up your competitor and see what can happen.

Perhaps you might find an interesting idea or new business.


  1. That's a pretty bold and visionary suggestion. I'm not in a position to apply it to business myself at this point, but it's definitely one of those "outside the box" concepts worth pondering. Thanks!

  2. I do work with SOME of my competitors at times and am happy to take their consulting dollars when they don't have the manpower or niche knowledge to solve a customers problem, and there are other competitors that experience tells me I shouldn't trust at all.

    The dividing line seems to be that consultants who want me to tell the customer that I am their employee (when I'm not) are the most difficult to deal with. Other consultants who are happy to tell the customer the truth about our sub-contracting relationship are the ones who tend to create the long term rapport and come back for repeat business.

  3. Jerry, Tough times require tough decisions, but sometimes for the better. What Graham describes is just one avenue to think about.

    Graham, I hear you and agree. However, as we have had to do the same thing, at IBM's request to have everyone "under one umbrella" we try to make life good for everyone. And continue to work with everyone.