Strategic Alliances – Business Referrals on Steroids

If you have had success using referrals to grow your business, you are going to love strategic alliances.

There is simply no better way to get referrals than a strategic alliance, but it must be with the right partner.

A strategic alliance is when two businesses with complimentary products and/or services that share the same prospective customers get together to form an alliance.

For example, a printing company could have a strategic alliance with a company that sells laser toner. They share the same type of customers, their products are complimentary but they are not competitors.

Another example would be a car mechanical repair workshop and a panel beater. Another would be a plumber and an electrician.

When you start thinking about it the opportunities are endless.

How does it work?

I new you would ask that.

A strategic alliance is where you provide your strategic alliance partner with a gift or benefit for them to gift to their prospects or customers.

This gift or benefit must be seen as valuable and worthwhile by both your alliance partner and his prospects and/or customers.

What do I offer?

The offer is usually a discount or a credit on your own products or services, so aim to break even on the first sale.

You would have to agree, a cheap price to pay for a new customer.

A printing company could offer say a $200 printing credit when the new customers printing bill reaches $700. A motor mechanic could offer a free 21 point safety check.

Your offer really needs to strong & compelling so that your prospective alliance partner sees real value and is confident that his prospects and/or customers will see the same value.

The partnership

There are two ways to set up a strategic alliance, they are.

A One Way Alliance – a one way alliance is where you provide the gift/benefit to your alliance partner and they pass it on.

A Two Way Alliance – a two way alliance is where you and your alliance partner provide each other with gifts/benefits roughly of the same value so you each can gift them to your own prospects/customers

The method

There are a number of ways to execute a strategic alliance, they are.

· The Big Hit – sending an alliance letter to every customer and or prospect, outlining the offer & possibly including a discount or credit voucher.

Learn how to use Sales Letters to grow your business.

· Drip Feed – sending the offer to a select amount on a regular basis ie, if the companys customer base is large it may bet better to send say 100 per week as opposed to 3,000 in one day knowing that if 10% responded straight away they would not have to personnel to manage the enquiries.

· Point of Purchase – when a customer makes a purchase he is presented with the special offer as a Thankyou for the sale.

· Hand Out – handing the offer out or a dumb letterbox drop.

As you can see, there are many options to consider and your choice will be based on the type of business you have, your budget, your sales target and many other issues.

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