Is Competition Good For Us?
I used to be a firm believer in the idea of ‘protecting your patch’. Having a clinic down the road with the same skincare range as me didn’t seem like a good idea at all. I liked a nice comfortable radius clear of any other potential competition. This meant that for our Janesce stockists I would also ensure they had very little competition.
However, this proved hard to achieve in our hometown of Tauranga. Being a local company, therapists in the area would invariably hear good things about Janesce and we received a lot of enquiries about stocking the brand. We tried to deflect the interest, but I have learnt that people don’t like being told “no”. The pressure meant we took on more clinics that we really wanted to.
It wasn’t a situation I was comfortable with and I waited in trepidation for reports of the existing clinics to start losing sales to the newcomers. To my absolute surprise the opposite happened! The Janesce sales of these clinics started growing and growing. Within a few short years we had our top three clinics all located in Tauranga.
At first I was very confused, I asked myself “how could this possibly be?”. But the easiest way to find out was simply to ask the clinics. I was told that their clients were familiar with the brand and had heard good things about it so when their therapist recommended Janesce it was an easy conversion. It all started making sense.
This doesn’t always work though. If you’re lucky enough to be the only person in New Zealand to have the rights to sell a well known brand like Apple then this exclusivity will work majorly in your favour. BUT if you are the only one in your area that sells a lessor known brand, chances are you will find it difficult to get traction. No one has heard of it and let’s face it, we all like the safety of purchasing a well-known brand. So what the clinics were finding was as the number of stockists grew it helped a lot to have other therapists spreading the same message – use Janesce!
So my beliefs around competition have changed over the years. It might feel scary to have a clinic in your area with the same brands as you but it is rare for a client to change clinics simply because they can purchase the same products there. Clients are much more therapist-centric than that. They form a relationship with the clinic and more importantly their therapist. The chances are your clinic will only benefit as the word spreads that you stock a good quality, trusted brand that a number of therapists stand behind. Recommendations to your clients become much easier to convert into a sale.
So what does this mean? We used to automatically decline stockist requests if the clinic in question was too close to an existing clinic. Going forward we will instead be contacting the existing stockist to have a conversation about moving forward.
Food for thought?