Last week I mentioned Entrepreneurs of Knoxville as a great place to brainstorm with like-minded professionals. The founder of the group, Leo Knight, and I have gotten to know each other over the past few years. Sometimes we see things the same, and sometimes we don’t.
At the last meeting I asked how a particular project was going for him. Apparently, it was not going at all. It’s seems that Leo’s client had decided to pursue a particular project with in-house talent, instead of engaging his services.
Your customer can often times be your biggest competition.
I have experienced the same thing with one of my projects. A few months ago, after numerous invested hours of laying out a plan of action, a potential client decided to try and replicate my teams services on their own. According to my contact, their solution “was not near as good or cool”. Apparently, being neither good or cool mattered.
So, how do you protect yourself from external cannabalism? Well, you can’t. If you are merely saving them time or money you risk losing the sale. And even saving them both time and money isn’t enough, because your prospect can choose to do nothing.
Your only play is to provide enough value that your prospect cannot implement the new product or service without you. And only you.