Lamarwaltersuccess Blog

March 13, 2012

“6 Outstanding ‘Unofficial’ Business Partners”

Filed under: Business, Inspirational, Motivational, Sucessful, Uncategorized — lamarwalter @ 7:50 pm

By: Jay Love

Are you using informal contacts to drive your business? Here are six relationships that are worth nurturing.

No, I am not referring to formal partnerships from a legal perspective, but to connections that are made informally or from a marketing perspective. Such alliances, though not bound under a contract, feed your organization in a variety of ways. Let’s explore six unofficial business partners and their respective benefits as a starting point. You may be surprised how many more come to mind.

1. Local and National Associations. These associations provide a space where you and your team can mingle with similar organizations and thought-leading professionals. These connections can provide insight into virtually every area of your operation. You can see and discuss examples of everything from top management strategies to best practices in HR. I have personally found that exploring and sharing important business metrics is one of the best benefits of this type of partnership. After just a few meetings with local or national associations, you’ll have a broader network to tap into when you need professional advice. You can pick up the phone and call a like-minded executive to debate just about any topic. In addition, this group is often a fertile ground for partners with a similar focus on your core market.

2. Professional Partners. Your law firm, banker, insurance agent, real estate broker and CPA firm are the next most obvious group with which to build strong relationships. Tapping into these types of relationships, my father built multiple successful businesses without the benefit of a formal education. He often stated that much of his good fortune was due to the sound advice of this group of partners, who often became personal friends in the process. A strong network of such advisers creates a larger framework for business, with solid leads into remote pockets of knowledge and business opportunities.

3. Businesses With Similar Target Markets. Connecting with businesses that also serve your core market of potential customers legitimizes your organization and can help build your reputation as a trusted and beneficial provider of goods or services. As you work alongside businesses with similar markets, more businesses will also want to work with you. In all of my businesses over the years, this particular group of unofficial partners has provided as much as 50 percent of the leads, which later became solid orders. We often used a simple lead sharing and/or finder fee arrangement to achieve wonderful results!

4. Customers. Sometimes, customers can become more than just customers. Loyal customers who refer leads quickly become unofficial partners. Additionally, their leads typically translate into outstanding future customers. A key secret here is that such referrals are often the easiest for your sales team or service teams to engage with and convert into new customers. Take advantage of customer-referred leads at every opportunity.

5. Unconverted Prospects. Believe it or not, potential customers who, for one reason or another, did not officially sign on, but who engaged to the extent they understand your value proposition to the fullest can be a valuable partnership down the road. Over the years, I’ve seen some of our best lead referrals from this group. And the best benefit? They often become customers themselves in the future!

6. Former Customers. Much like the failed prospects, former customers can also become lead-generating partners. This group can take many different forms, from an individual who is now working elsewhere to a business that ceased using your product or service for a valid reason. How often are you asked to name a former customer by a current prospect? That question can put you in a tight spot, but serves as a great reason to nurture this group. I used to provide special recognition to individuals who were returning customers at a new business. Often this group was my favorite segment of unofficial partners!

Being the CEO of Slingshot SEO, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention each of the above groups are a wonderful source of strong links back to your website in order to enhance you organic page rankings. When you combine the leads, knowledge and fresh ideas unofficial partners bring, it will be well worth the extra focus and effort to reach out and make these vital connections.

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. I leave a comment whenever I especially enjoy a post on a site or I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion.
    It is triggered by the passion displayed in the article I browsed.

    And after this post “6 Outstanding ‘Unofficial’ Business Partners” .
    I was moved enough to post a thought :) I actually do have 2 questions
    for you if you don’t mind. Could it be simply me or do some of
    the comments appear as if they are written by brain dead visitors?
    :-P And, if you are posting on additional sites, I would like to keep up with anything
    fresh you have to post. Could you list all of all your communal
    sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Comment by Yanik Silver'S Underground X — December 31, 2013 @ 8:58 am

  2. I seldom leave a response, however I browsed a few
    comments on this page “6 Outstanding ‘Unofficial’ Business Partners”
    . I do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Is it simply me or does it look as if like some of these remarks come across as if they are coming from brain dead folks?
    :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I’d like
    to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Would you list of all of all your public
    sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    Comment by Yanik Silver'S New Orleans Underground — January 3, 2014 @ 11:42 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: