My customer has become my competitor. Help!

Dear Aunty B


I run a medium sized business and one of my customers has just morphed into a competitor – their new release online products are quite similar to ours.

But they claim our relationship should not change and I am looking at the partnership in the wrong way. I, in turn, feel deceived, but I don’t want to turn them away as a customer. Who is right?





Confused… yeah, me too. Online is like The Faraway Tree (Gen Ys – look it up).

Everything is not as it seems and worlds are constantly changing. Look at the online giants Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay – on some deals they control markets, and on others it’s lawyers at 40 paces.


I suspect that you are an older Aussie gent who comfortably presides in the world where a friend is a mate and everyone else is your enemy.

I would also bet money that your competitor is a woman (women understand networking, alliances and online) or a Gen X (ditto), and that they are probably quite right.


Peter Drucker (Gen Ys have a lot of homework to do today) was fond of telling anyone who would listen to ask the “not” question.

When building a company ask who is NOT your customer.

Now if the company qualifies as a customer, how big a problem is this “competing product?”

I would suggest you focus on making sure your product is far better, which should satisfy your aggressive, beat ‘em to a pulp tendencies.

Do keep an eye on them to ensure a suite of competing products are not on the way.

But chill. These days – and particularly online – you have to look at customers deal by deal, and day by day.


What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!

For more Aunty B…
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click here.



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