Are you looking for a way to attract more clients into your pipeline? What business owner isn’t? One of the best – and most inexpensive – ways to do this is to create strategic alliances with other business owners.
You’ve probably heard the terms joint venture partner, JV, and strategic alliance. Sometimes they’re used interchangeably, especially in the world of internet marketing. Technically there are differences but regardless of the definitions the idea behind all of them is a powerful one – creating a mutually-beneficial and profitable relationship with another business.
Let me share an example of what a strategic alliance looks like…
I’m currently collaborating with a business consultant to doctors and dentists.
While he teaches health practitioners how to run a more profitable business, I come in as an outside business consultant to work with them on their image, brand, communication skills and team building. Even though I have a wider range of corporate consultation experience, within this particular team I’m positioned as the Leadership ABC Expert (Appearance, Behavior and Communication Skills).
Why does this alliance work?
It benefits my business partner because he’s seen as the “Go-To” expert in his industry. His clients depend on him to provide a wide range of resources and the very best experts so they can be successful in all areas of their business.
It benefits me because of the great exposure I get by speaking at his conferences with thousands of people in attendance. Although this isn’t necessarily my ideal target audience, he handles all of the marketing so I don’t have to use promotional marketing dollars to get these clients. Plus, since he includes my services in his packages to his clients he pays me directly, which streamlines my billing.
So you see how strategic alliances can be an extremely easy way to add an additional revenue stream to your business!
The key to making a strategic alliance work is to have it be mutually beneficial. So when you approach a potential partner you need to clearly outline how it will benefit their business, not just your own.
For example, talk about how you can share the marketing costs of reaching the same target audience. This works well for businesses that share the same audience but are not in direct competition. Do you have skills that complement each other? Could you collaborate on a joint venture offer, perhaps hosting a webinar or a workshop together?
If you’re the one offering the product or service to your partner’s list or audience, talk to them about how this will position them as the “go to” expert for the people in their tribe. It also can be profitable for them if you set them up as an affiliate – that way they get a percentage of each sale you get through their leads. Of course, for this to work they must be willing to market and promote you to their list.
It’s also important during this conversation to be a good listener and open to their suggestions. They may come up with a brilliant collaboration once they know you’re interested in partnering with their company!
Are you ready to propel your business forward? Then take a look at the assignment below to get you started.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Business Coaching, provides leading-edge business building strategies for small business owners & entrepreneurs who wish to take their company to the next level.
Illustra Business Coaching
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
This article may be reproduced only in it’s entirety, including the above bio.
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