Developing Strategic Referral Alliances

Article excerpt

Are you willing to refer your clients or customers to someone else? Is someone else willing to refer their clients or customers to you?

Yes, if there is mutual trust.

Here are the prerequisites: * You consider yourself the best at what you do. * You do a memorable job in making the sale. * You do a perfect job of delivering what you promised. * You provide impeccable service after the sale. If you don't do the above, don't bother reading the rest of this article. It won't help you. What are some benefits of alliance? How are alliances used? 1. For credibility. To give your company more credibility, you might align yourself with the Chamber of Commerce, partner or joint venture with a big firm, or donate part of the proceeds to a charitable organization in exchange for using their name with your promotion. 2. To boost sales, make an impression, or get an audience. Align with a business that will deliver a gift of what they do at a reduced cost in exchange for the opportunity to make a sales call on your prospect or customer. It looks like you're the hero, and your ally gets a valuable lead. Look for companies who sell office plants, flowers, ad specialties, tickets, gift baskets, a printer, or a bookstore. 3. To get to the decision makers. Look to align yourself with someone already doing business with your targets. These are your best prospects for an alliance. 4. To get leads faster. Look at what steps it takes to get to your sale. Talk to people who sell your prospect before your sale is possible. Excellent candidates are contractors, equipment sellers, movers, or supply companies. Select vendors who are needed by the prospect before your product or services are needed. 5. To generate new prospects. Build your business network by joining leads clubs, business clubs, and professional associations. 6. To build business with existing customers and expand within that industry. Join their trade association or the Chamber of Commerce. Here are some types of alliances to look for and develop: A "complementing business direct exchange" alliance. * A building contractor exchanges with a telephone equipment sales and installation. * A lawyer exchanges with an accountant. * A commercial real estate broker exchanges with an office furniture supplier. …