One of the most valuable forms or marketing is partnerships with other businesses. Mutually beneficial partnerships can lead to lots of leads and new business for almost no cost. We see this in different industries.
Sometimes bodyshops establish informal relationships with insurance agencies. The benefit for the bodyshop is clear, they receive referrals after people have wrecks. The benefit for the insurance agency is a little less clear becuase it would not be a referral check, that could look unseemly or unethical. The insurance agency’s primary benefit would be knowing that their customers would be well taken care of, which is very valuable to the insurance agent. Additionally there could be some stationary or snacks that the body shop brings by.
For a successful marketing partnership, formal or informal, there are a few prerequisites:
- A Relationship- Relationships are important in business. Maybe not as important as they use to be, but they are still important. Forming a relationship with businesses that you could work with is a critical step in the business to business world. People will not do a marketing partnership with people they do not know. They may do business with people they don’t know but to refer someone they are putting their reputation on the line with yours. To do this most people must have a personal relationship.
- Mutual Benefit- For a marketing partnership to work, there must be a mutual benefit. Maybe that is a cash transaction, maybe that is cookies brought by, peace of mind for their customers, or Â free press. When approaching someone about a partnership make sure that you clearly layout these benefits. You are selling the person on the deal because ultimately this is business.
- Consistent Quality Work- As mentioned above, one business is putting their reputationÂ on the line with yours when they refer someone to you. If you do not produce quality results then you are endangering your partnership and the benefit to your business. Before you approach someone about a partnership, make sure that you are performing your service well and so are they. This will help headaches in the long run.
- Similar Customer Type- The type of customer that someone attracts is important to the success of a business partnership. If you are a low end restaurant partnering with a 5 star hotel, that might not workout so well. If you are a old established law firm, partnering with a local radioÂ station targeting younger demographics might not be the best partnership. This may sound like a subsection under the mutual benefit category but it is different. You may still make money off the transactions from a partnership with different customer types but they might not be the kind of client you are able to retain for the long term or make as high of a profit margin off of. Additionally they might be the kind of client who expects too much from their businesses and your business might not be able to meet these needy clients where they are.
I hope this article helps you think of some creative marketing partnerships to help grow your business to the next level! If you want help coming up with some, send me an email and we can work on that!