One of the best things you can do for your business is to create strategic partnerships. Today's guest post is by one of my favorite strategic partners – Caterina Rando. Caterina will be giving a free teleseminar for members of the Global Social Media Managers Association on Use Speaking to Easily Make Your Business Thrive! on Monday, January 9. Joining associations like GSMMA is a great way to cultivate strategic partnerships for your business.
By creating successful strategic alliances you can consistently add new clients and build your list while at the same time, creating more momentum, more opportunities and more business success for yourself and your strategic partners.
One kind of strategic alliance is to identify individuals in your field that provide products or services that are similar to yours, yet with a different spin or specialty. Bread bakers refer dessert makers, dietitians refer personal trainers and visa versa, and doctors, lawyers and consultants refer based on specialty.
Follow these ideas to initiate and accelerate the effectiveness of your strategic alliances. There is a big difference between simply making a referral and creating a strategic alliance.
Get Friendly First
Strategic alliances usually come out of friendships and professional relationships that have already proved productive and worthwhile. Get to know a company, the people, their work and their reputation before you align with them. Their reputation will be your reputation.
Make Sure Your Values Match
Talk to clients about your potential strategic alliance partners. Ask questions about the values of your potential partners. Make sure their values match yours. You want to make sure they have integrity, are customer-service focused and are respected in their profession.
Learn everything you can about the other companies (and the people in them) with whom you are aligning, and become an expert at what they offer so that you can know who are the right clients for them and what they can offer your clients.
Keep Your Eyes Open
Instead of just thinking only about how to bring in clients for your company, now you have to be looking out for how to bring in business for your strategic alliance partners.
I strongly encourage you to hire whoever you are considering entering into a strategic alliance partnership with. This allows you to know how they work with their clients and it also allows you to genuinely say that they did a great job for you.
Explore the Possibilities
Get together with your potential strategic alliance partners and discuss how you would like to work together, what products or services each of you provide and how you can support each other.
Create A Strategic Plan
It is best to get clear ahead of time what you are going to do for each other and put it in writing. Create a plan for how you are going to help each other build your business. Give special attention to cross-promotional marketing.
Cross Promote Each Other
Send out a letter to your clients about your strategic alliance partners. Promote them in your e-mailings, and link exchange with them on your website. Post about each other in your blogs, and on your social networks. The ways to cross promote are many.
Sell For Each Other
When you meet with clients and potential clients make sure you discuss with them what your strategic partners have to offer. Answer questions, provide contact information and make the initial call for your client and introduce them to your strategic alliance partner.
Let each other know about opportunities you come across that will benefit each other. Be observant in your business activities; notice what kinds of marketing and other opportunities you come across that would be of benefit to your strategic partners.
Caterina Rando, MA, MCC, shows dynamic entrepreneurs how to build profitable, sustainable and thriving businesses. She shows business owners how to succeed by establishing themselves as experts, embracing value based marketing and creating strategic alliance partnerships.
Caterina is also the founder of THRIVE Publishing Inc. a company that publishes multi-author books for experts who speak and entrepreneurs who want to get their books done. For info visit http://www.thrivebooks.com
Caterina is the creator of the Business Breakthrough Summit and the Sought After Speaker Summit designed to accelerate your business’ growth. Visit her website at http://www.attractclientswithease.com