As you put together your sales prospecting plan, give some thought to strategic alliances. Working with a other companies who have
- Complementary products or services
- And target the same customers
can be a win win for growing leads, referrals and personal introductions. The way it works is that you are leveraging each other’s sales and marketing efforts. For example if you are an electrical contractor you could hand out a coupon for an air conditioning service. The air conditioning service company would do the same for you. By that one simple activity you are doubling the number of people who become introduced to your product or service.
Of course, you have to trust the strategic partner as you will be effectively saying to your customers, "I trust these people and you should too." You don’t want poor quality work to reflect on you.
You are only limited by your creativity but here are a few other ideas:
- Run joint workshops. This works even better with three partners. Each group invites people from their list so each company gets exposure to the customers of two other companies
- Create some useful materials that your partner can handout to their clients. For example, if you are an accountant, you could write a few guides for certain tax situations. You could offer them free of charge to lawyers, financial planners to hand out. You would of course want to brand or co-brand these so that your company gets exposure.
Can you think of some others? Who would be natural strategic alliances for your company?