Competitors Can All Win With a Little Cooperation
By Missie Usry
The dictionary definition of cooperation is “the process of working together to the same end.” While many of us expect cooperation within our businesses from co-workers or employees, we don’t often realize that cooperation can come from our competitors or those in the same industries as ourselves.
In a world where competition in certain industries can be fierce, the idea of getting referrals from competitors seems like a novel approach.
You might be asking, “Why a competitor would send business my way?”
The answer is quite simple: Among competitors, there are often differences in the products and services offered to customers. Those differences may make one customer a better fit for a company other than your own or vice versa. Additionally, an organization might have more work than it can handle itself.
Frankly, you might offer pricing that is a better match for the client’s budget, or perhaps a competitor specializes in an area where you do not. When this happens, you’ll want to be a part of a network of competitors to both refer customers to and gain referrals from competitors.
Georgia Military College is part of the CSRA Education Cooperative, made up of various college recruiters and admissions staff from colleges in the Central Savannah River Area. The group meets on a regular basis to network, hold educational events in the community, share scheduled calendar events for recruiting and stay up to date on what each college has to offer.
CSRA Education Cooperative members are able to refer students to another college when that student is searching for a specific program of study offered at another institution, for example, or if the student needs to accomplish a specific goal by a specific deadline.
The group also can assist an organization or company that wants to hold an education fair for its employees but doesn’t have the manpower or time to create the event. By contacting a Cooperative member, such as Georgia Military College, a time and place can be determined, and the group does the work to put the event together.
Ultimately, the Cooperative’s members have the same goal in mind: to meet the educational goals of people seeking education in the CSRA. By the definition of cooperation, we’re all working to the same end.