Who should read this article?
- People who want more customers
- People who want more referrals from their customers
Someone out there already has the TRUST of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of your perfect prospects.
To start collaborating with other businesses you should ask yourself some questions...
-What businesses have similar customers to mine?
-Who serves my customers before and after me?
-Who could give my product or service away as a gift to their customers, clients or patients?
-Who do I know (or could I be introduced to) who owns such a business?
Whether you've ever thought about it or not, it costs you money to get leads and customers.
The cost might be paying for advertising or the cost might be a more difficult number to track, such as time you spend attending events to meet possible customers.
In any case, there is a cost.
Let's use an easy example...
You spend $300 for an ad in a local newspaper or magazine.
Let's imagine you get 10 calls or inquiries from that ad.
SIMPLE MATH: It cost you $30 to get a lead. ($300/10=$30)
If two people (out of those 10) become customers, it cost you $150 to get a customer.
That's a great number if you sell swimming pools but not so good if you sell pizzas.
Sad part is, you are out that $300 whether you get 10 customers or 0.
Since we're imagining, let's say that $30 a lead is a good number for you.
If so, you'd be happy pay $30 all day long to get someone to show an interest in your products or services....so you could do a sales presentation.
Instead of paying $300 for a one time ad that may or may not work, find a business that has a similar customer and give them a stack of $30 gift certificates they could hand out to their customers, clients or patients.
Another way to do that is to offer the other business $30 cash for every one of their customers who inquires about your services or becomes a customer.
In either case you're only out the $30 when you have a living, breathing person interested in your products or services.
That's a much better deal that $300 on an ad that may or may not work, don't you think?
Here's a live example that came through email recently.
This came from a community based email list from Hoboken, NJ.
The entire email was about this dental office and their FREE Teeth Whitening offer.
I suspect this was a paid advertisement but it could easily have been the dental office going to the list owner and saying, I'd like to give your readers a FREE gift....teeth whitening!
It probably goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, the dental office makes this great offer to get people in the door.
Yes, there is a cost to perform the teeth whitening service just like there is a cost for an ad but in the case of the free offer, they're only spending money when someone is sitting in the chair.
This gives the dental office the chance to meet a bunch of potential new patients and prove how good they are. The real money comes when they become a patient and refer all their friends and family.
Here's another example:
The delivery service had an email list of customers (my cousin is one) and they worked out a deal with the health club.
All food delivery customers got one free month membership to the club as a thank you.
The ad reads...
We (the delivery service) have arranged for you:
-One month, no obligation, guest membership
-Complimentary one-hour personal training session to ensure you are on track to meet your health and fitness goals
-Single guest may include a friend on their guest membership
There is absolutely no obligation to join Island Club & Spa upon completion of your one-month membership. Simply enjoy your gift.
It's a WIN/WIN
The delivery service wins because it looks good to their customers...even if a person doesn't use the offer, it leaves a good impression and reminds former customers that the delivery service is there.
The health club wins because it didn't cost them anything to get a trial customer and they know a certain percentage will stick around as paying members.
-If you have a business with a strong repeat factor (customers could come back often) start thinking about a product or service of yours that you could use as a lead generator.
Then think about who you know who owns a business that could give it away as a gift to their customers.
-If you have a business that DOES NOT have a strong repeat factor (follow-up purchases are years apart) start thinking about gifts you could give your customers from other businesses.
The idea here is to stay top of mind with the customers who know, like and trust you so that when someone they know is in need of your products or services you are the one they recommend.
I've started a Facebook group call "Collaborate 518" for Capital District business owners who want to work with area businesses on promotions like those I've written about here.
To get more information about this group, CLICK HERE.
If you love this idea but don't have the time to set up these type deals and you want someone smart and good looking to handle it for you, give me a call 518-288-8711 or send me an email by clicking here.
My goal is to set up 100 Collaborations in 100 Days...between now and November 23rd.
There is no charge for this, just my way of helping the business community and getting people thinking about collaborating with others.
Any questions or ideas, let me know.
P.S. If you have a group that needs a speaker on profitable collaborations, I know a guy 🙂