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Secret Alliances: The Biggest Business Secret Of All Time?
by Brian Li
Head of the UK's Business Growth Centre
Any study of Game Theory shows you how to use co-operation to your advantage. In the small business world, using strategic alliances can pay big dividends.
You are instantly able to leverage the goodwill of a competitor to your own advantage and, in the process, offer your customers a wider range of services that will boost your own profits.
However, there's always been a problem here: many past Joint Venture Schemes have been complex and many small businesses haven't experienced the enormous benefits that can be achieved, almost instantly!
Here's some really innovative ones you should be using right now. They can be adapted to any small business with great success. The longer you wait before implementing them, the longer you lose out on those enormous profits that can rightly be yours.
No expertise required
No matter what you sell, think of related services that your client may want - you don't have to possess the expertise to provide them. For example, if you're a carpenter, your client may need plumbing, electrical or building services.
If you can recommend someone you respect, you can then obtain a pre-negotiated referral commission when your client purchases the services you recommend. If they are one of your present customers, an endorsement from yourself will almost certainly be accepted because of the trust you've already built up.
Keep it local
You can also send genuine-discount coupons for your services to local businesses.
A great secret here is to print the company's name on top of your coupon to give the impression your joint venture partner (ie the company) has made a real effort to obtain your discount coupons for their employees. You can use software for producing coupon designs/certificates etc that can be personalized.
This type of joint venture can bring you great dividends almost immediately. Why not take it one step further and promise to pay the company a small percentage of every purchase. They're much more likely to accept your offer this way.
How to make a profit from a lost sale!
How many potential customers has your business lost to rivals because they offered better payment terms, or a wider range of products/services for their needs, or just because they didn't like one of your sales professionals?
Well, if you follow this cutting edge strategy, you can discover how to receive a greater income from lost customers than from those who buy your particular product or service.
For example, if only 5 people out of 100 potential customers buy from you, they must be making their purchase elsewhere, for whatever reason.
However, if you enter into a strategic alliance with your perceived competition, to offer them your non-converted sales leads, you can receive a pre-negotiated sales commission if your supplied leads result in a purchase.
This means that if you can't offer a potential client what they want, you can direct them to a rival you respect, with whom you have created a strategic alliance, and who can offer a wider range of products/services and payment options.
If you have a choice of rivals, point out, as a negotiating strategy, they will probably lose your recommendation to another rival with whom your joint venture has been agreed. Also point out, they are first in line to negotiate this exclusive agreement with you in your area.
And this works both ways, especially if they are in danger of losing a non-converted lead forever - they can send those "lost" potential clients to your business and earn their pre-negotiated commission.
Try it right now and see for yourself the amazing results you can achieve.
Cross-selling can also be seen as a form of joint venture. It can both increase your sales and also give your customers a better outcome than their original purchase decision.
For example, if you sell computers, it would be enormously beneficial to lots of your customers if you offered training courses in the software they purchased, or maybe you could also offer a full installation and basic lessons in using a computer for an extra fee. If you don't possess the expertise to do this, negotiate a strategic alliance with a local company you respect.
If you are running a hotel, you can sell local tours in your area to your guests, or sell local theatre tickets, travel tickets etc on a commission basis.
General shops can also offer photocopying, fax, cheque cashing, money transfer, photo processing, Polaroid Passport Photos and other related services to significantly boost their services and profits.
Also enter into strategic alliances with other businesses that complement your own product or service. For example, can you display goods from other businesses in your premises for sales commissions, or for a display fee?
The possibilities are endless. Just ask yourself this question? What else can I offer that is connected with my main business and will benefit my customers? What joint ventures can I enter into?
The knowledge in this article can pave the way for enormous amounts of extra business coming your way. Don't waste another minute in thinking about it. It can only be yours if you take action right now! Welcome to a rosy future.
About the Author
Brian Li is head of the UK's Business Growth Centre. http://www.businessgrowthcentre.com NO Boss - NO Job - NO Stress - FREE Trial! Grab a SNEAK PREVIEW and gain insider access BEFORE everyone else
http://www.hitsusa.com/go/00001083 Copyright (c) 2003 Brian Li