The current cost jumps in cost per clicks at Google may have created a way of pushing a bunch of your less savvy competitors out of the mix. If they have unlimited funds then you are out of luck, but I have noticed that not many people really do have or want to use a "zero sum game" approach.
So how do you do it?
First you want to spend some time looking at your traffic numbers. If you can determine your best hours of lead acquisition - I know all of them are decent etc. - generally there will be a couple of hours a day where you get high clicks and impressions and either don't get the click or it does not convert as well as other hours.
These would be the first things I would turn off. This pushes that traffic to your competitors and pushes them to the top, sending them many more impressions and many more clicks. The CPCs are going to be impacted by improved CTRs - but not like it used to be - so it is still going to cost them more especially when there are a few of them.
Dropping some of your bids during the other hours so that you are at number 3 as opposed to 1 will also give the competitors the higher and more costly spots.
This all works if they have daily and monthly budgets.
The increases will bring them a lot of garbage traffic as well as converting traffic but the increase in volume and cost will sooner or later impact their bids.
Budgets can be busted easily using this method and when that happens you are back on top at a much reduced rate.
If you have any comments on this let me know here.