Recently, a local competitor sent me an email asking me about my rates and whether my prospects and customers have been receptive to them…in other words, what are my current rates and have they been successful with my target market? The question caught me by surprise. If I shared this information, would I be revealing my own business strategies to the benefit of a competitor? If I didn’t share this information, would I be seen as harboring information that could be helpful to the industry as a whole? Or could I be jeopardizing a potential alliance that I may need in the future?
Yes, I believe in transparency. Yes, I believe in partnerships and collaboration within an industry. Yet I found myself hesitating to share this information with someone I do not know or have never met. At the end of the day, my business philosophy and values are unique. There’s a great INC article that states customers are choosing to buy from a company not just because it offers a product with a fair price, but also because that company has good values.
How would you handle this situation? What has been your experience? Or what are your thoughts about sharing business strategies with peers in your industry? I’m trying to figure out:
1. How much information to share, and
2. How to frame an appropriate response.