If you think you are the only person your customers buy from you are mistaken.
You would have to not only sell something totally unique, the customer would also have to only need one. In the vast majority of cases you make something that is one of a group of things your customer buys multiples of.
If your business like mine is based on selling information about a subject, your customer is buying from lots of people. (I teach model photography online). I don’t have any illusion that people who buy my online pinup workshop don’t ever buy another photography course.
Heck, I assume they buy other courses and attend other workshops.
I hope they do, then I can make more courses to sell them, and I can promote other people’s course as well.
Do You Really Have Competitors?
If I know my customers are going to buy other people’s stuff, are those people really competitors?
Do you know what the biggest indicator that someone is willing to buy your product? That they’ve actually bought before.
The biggest reason someone doesn’t buy your product is they aren’t going to buy any product.
If you want to find good potential buyers for your product, look for people who have already bought a different product. There are two places to find these people: buyers of your other products, and buyers of your “competitors” products.
Puts your competitors in a different light, doesn’t it? Now they are a source of high quality customers. All you need to do is give them an incentive to send those customers your way.
The easiest incentive is to just pay them. Give them a cut of what you make when one of their customers buys your product.
Second is to offer to sell their product for them. Promoting their product first is an act of good faith and shows you aren’t worried about losing something by sending prospects to someone else.
You may have to convince them this is a good idea. You can send them to this post, where I try to convince you don’t really own your customers.
Might be easier if you aren’t directly competing with them. For instance if you are wedding photographer, it might be hard to get another wedding photographer to send you prospects. But if you don’t do weddings, but do do seniors, you could find someone who does weddings and doesn’t do seniors. Then you could each send the prospects you don’t serve to the other. (This was one of the few instances I could think of where someone bought a one unique product.)
Obviously this is something you need to think about. It may in fact not be true for you, but hopefully it opens your eyes to the possibility. And if your business doesn’t lend itself to competitors as partners, maybe you need to find a different way to do business.