How to Get a 100% Return on Your Marketing Investment Guaranteed!
One of the most effective ways to market your products/servicesis to create strategic alliances. Strategic alliances arepartnerships with companies who sell to a client base similarto yours but they sell different products/services. The ideais to find partners whose clients may also be interested in your products/services.
Many times people will casually agree to spread the word abouteach other's products/services. This is the idea of 'you sendme clients and I will send you clients.' This isn't veryeffective for the following reasons:
1. The agreement is vague and undefined.
2. One or both of the people may not fully understand whatthe other does.
3. People are busy and forget.
4. Both people may be waiting to 'get something' first beforethey get into action to help the other.
5. One of the people may be more interested than the other.
6. There may be a higher value for one person than the other.
To eliminate all of these issues, simply create a specificoffer for potential strategic alliance partners. Offer togive something to your partners for every person they referto you who ends up purchasing your products/services. Thiscan be a percentage of your fee or total purchase, some ofyour products/services, or something else you mutually agreeupon.
The motivation for partners to send you clients isn't onlyabout what they will get in return. It is just a way tothank them for their effort, let them know that you areserious about the alliance, and to create commitment.
Think about it, you're probably currently spending money doingsome kind of marketing or advertising. There is no way toknow for sure that you will see a return on this investment. When you create strategic alliances your investment isguaranteed because you only 'pay' once you have a new client.
What's more, strategic alliances leverage marketing effortsbecause a partnership allows you to market to many people viayour partners (one-to many) instead of one-to-one.
Strategic alliances are a triple win. Your partners winbecause they are able to be a resource and help someone findwhat they need as well as receive an incentive for theireffort. The person who buys the products/services winsbecause they find what they need. And you win because youhave a new client.
Get started by simply thinking about companies you know whomay be potential partners and contact them to see if they areopen to the idea. An alliance doesn't have to be complicatedand in most cases a written agreement isn't necessary. Thegoal is to create alliances with people you trust and whotrust you.
Here are some examples of strategic alliances:
* Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer or Gym
* Employment Recruiter or Language School and a
* Tax Advisor and a Financial Advisor
* Artist and an Interior Designer
* Massage Therapist and a Hair Salon
* Professional Organizer and a Moving Company
* Consultant and a Trainer
* Website Designer and a Copy Writer
In order for your partners to give you a genuine referral itis important that they have sampled your products orexperienced your services. If they understand firsthand thebenefits of your products/services it will make it easy forthem to tell others about you.
These are just a few ways your strategic alliance partnerscan help you:
- Mention your company in their newsletter
- Give a coupon for a sample of your products/services
- Send a letter to their clients introducing them to yourproducts/services and perhaps offering them a special deal
- Add your website link to their website
- Simply telling clients about your company when theopportunity arises
If your partners want to create their own specific offer foryou in return for you sending them clients, that is great aswell. It is an added bonus and it isn't a requirement inorder to create a beneficial partnership because the agreementsare separate from one another.
By now you can see the value of creating strategic alliances. So what are you waiting for? Look through your contacts andsee which companies might be perfect strategic alliancepartners for your company. Then get into action and contactthem!
(c) 2005 Stephanie Ward