Referring the Competition… Has He Gone Mad?


At first glance, the idea of sending your customers to your direct competition may seem like the business equivalent of filling your underwear with ribeye and running across the African Savannah.  There are times however, when passing on a quick sale can pay dividends later.

African Lion

"Check it out, Frank, we got a live one... go get the A-1 sauce!" photo credit: MSVG -

Many smaller businesses run into the following problem all of the time:  a customer will argue over the cost of a product, saying that they can get the same item for less at another location.  Of course, this can often be a bargaining chip on behalf of the customer, but more often than not it’s a lack of perception on the value of what is being offered.

The Slap Chop!

"I chopped 3 ounces of onion over March Break, honey. The chili should be ready by the summer solstice." photo credit: vxla

It’s important to educate your customer on what they are getting from you and clearly define the differences between yourself and competing products or services.  If your customer is still skeptical, an encouraging invitation to try the competition shows confidence in your business and also shows that you care more about satisfying their needs than making a quick buck.  Encourage them to shop around and always leave room to welcome the return of the customer if they don’t get their desired results elsewhere.

Rattling off a standard sales pitch in an infomercial of awesomeness is great to get people excited, but beyond the initial impulse buy – once common sense sets in – are your customers ready to return for repeat business or to offer a referral to someone else?  How many people do you know who bought a Slap Chop based on what they saw on TV, then once they opened up the box realized that you can’t chop more than a half a strawberry at a time?  Deception doesn’t lead to return business.

You will obviously get some who don’t return.  If this happens, don’t be discouraged about the loss of a sale.  That customer will still appreciate that you didn’t take them for a ride and that builds consumer loyalty.  Three referrals later can be better than a quick sale now.  Sometimes it pays to refer business to your competition and, at the very least, you’ve fulfilled that one customer’s needs to the best of your ability.

Looking for help in what distinguishes your business from your competition?  Contact Point Click Media.

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