When any new business opens up shop, they take stock and observe who is around them. By my office we have what is called, Furniture Row. Every single store for several blocks, sells furniture. You see this with car dealerships as well. So how do those businesses survive when they are all in close proximity?
Therapists are no different. There are some areas with buildings that are saturated with therapists. Whenever I hear “there is a lot of competition in my area” I get excited because I know that I can help that person it flip the idea of competition on its head.
Look around and see who serves your ideal client.
Think about it. There are a lot of different ways an anxious person can get help with their worries and fears. Gyms, nutritionists, doctors, hypnosis, acupuncture, and life coaching to just name a few.
Talk to your clients. I always ask in my initial phone consult, “what have you tried to help with this issue thus far?” It gives me an idea of where people get help.
Just thinking about all the different avenues can make your head explode and allow annoying thoughts like....
That’s a lot of competition!
But every time you observe who else in your community is serving your ideal client, it must simply be an observation from the perspective of….
How am I different?
In the Blue Ocean Strategy the authors Mauborgne and Kim talk about this very concept to eliminating the competition mindset.
If a bunch of sharks are feeding in the same water the water gets murky (bloody in fact). So the smart shark says, you know I am going to go over into this blue water over here and have all the food to myself!
This isn’t referring to physical space. You aren’t going to move to the middle of Death Valley per se, instead you’re focus is on what is special about you and the way you do things so you end up swimming in the clear blue.
When you look at others ask yourself:
Who do they serve?
How do they serve?
What is their uniqueness?
What are they missing that I have?
That last question is key. While you and the acupuncturist might be offering help for anxious people – what do you have that they don’t? That will be a telling point for your marketing message and strategy.
But you say to not compare yourself!
I only appreciate comparison when it is a calculated effort to establish your awesomeness.
As you start to establish this, it will make relationship building even easier. You eliminate the angst because you know your value and you can see when you might refer to or collaborate with these other service providers.
In the time you took to discover what makes your therapy practice set apart, you also now have a relationship marketing list. You just got two tasks done!
This week I want you to get online and research. Who is in your area? If you want, hop in your car and drive around your neighborhood. Heck, look at who is in your same building or on the same street. Then I want you to go through the questions of evaluation. Sound fun? Need accountability?
Competition, schmopetition – it’s time to give yourself some credit!