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I would like to share one of my favorite ways to generate leads. Not just for us as our own organization, since we use this too, but for our clients as well.
The idea is called strategic partners. Strategic partners are folks who call on the same people you do, but they have a different offering, a different solution, or a different expertise. A simple example would be folks that call on home owners to do renovations to their homes. An architect might talk with real estate agents and with interior designers or general contractors. There is a whole ecosystem of folks who call on that.
In a B to B setting, we might think of organizations going through a massive amount of change. They might need a transactional attorney, a tax accountant, or a management consultant that helps with this specific type of reorganization or a different organizational structure. In this example, if the lawyer met with the tax advisor, they might be able to strike up this idea of a strategic partnership. If they met, we recommend this process.
Think big, start small, scale up. The think big is we are going share a bunch of mutual referrals. I will introduce you to some people, you introduce me to some people, and we are going to massively change our books of business with each other’s help over time.
The main way you start is start small. By starting small you are going to meet and talk about what would be the perfect organization that is a great fit for you, and what role is the perfect entry point. Once we learn those things, we can pick one introduction for each other, so that we can handle that with white gloves and make that go really, really well. Pro tip: think of the value added that when you make that introduction.
We call a little thing we will do on our dime a Give-to-Get. Maybe it is something like an introduction or an industry update or some other kind of added value. It just has to be some kind of valuable thing that you will use to get that first meeting. Think of what that is so when you call your client and make the introduction for the other person, you will already have some ideas of how you will make that first meeting valuable. It is not just networking for networking’s sake. You should have a topic so that when you meet, that new resource can show your expertise and be helpful. That is starting small.
With scale up, if those first two introductions go well, then it gets really easy to make more and more and more, continuing to help each other. So the think big, start small, scale up method works really well here.
The last idea, your last pro tip today, is set up a serious of ongoing meetings with your strategic partner. We find quarterly usually works best and that a half hour is plenty. This is where we update each other on each other’s business. We ask how their year is going, maybe share some new expertise areas you have or some new solutions. You are going to think about who else have you met in the last quarter. What things have changed? What other people need to be introduced in each direction? We find when you put that default on and you always have that quarterly meeting set up, that these kind of strategic partnerships work really well.
Here is the thing; people trust personal recommendations. If you partner with the best of the best out there, you only work with the very best in the areas that are in your ecosystem, and you have recommendations at the ready, when something pops up you can be proactive. Then you can say, “Sue, I really think you need to meet Fred because he’s an expert in these areas and you typically use those areas.” These are wins for you, your partner, and your clients.
That is why, with these videos, we always hope that they help you, help you clients succeed.