When you adhere to this strategy some very interesting dynamics begin to unfold. First your company's product offerings expand to encompass products your competition carries without the burden of having to actually add new lines. In the case of the window example we are able to "sell" this customer a brown window without actually having to carry brown windows.
Moreover as your alliance group grows you will you position yourself to make money on every call you make because whatever product your prospect has in mind you have access too.
The point is to not just refer the customer to your competition but to receive a "commission" from him as well. In this example you have recovered your marketing cost, helped your strategic partner by eliminating his lead cost (shared marketing expense) reinforced with your prospect that you can provide a complete array of products and earn money on a sale that without this strategy you would have lost anyway. The benefits are amazing.
Of course you want to only align yourself with companies whose products, services and reputation you trust. When you do the opportunities are endless. I work with one company in Alabama that has seen revenues jump from an average of $300,000 a month to north of $700,000 per month in less than 180 days - strategic alliances leading the way.
Another form of alliance building - start here if you're the skittish type - is what is commonly referred to as Horizontal Marketing. That is, aligning your business with dissimilar businesses that share common prospect bases.
For example if you own a termite and pest control service, share your data base and marketing efforts with a local plumber, an HVAC contractor, a foundation company, Duct cleaning service, landscaper etc.
In either case the point is to locate similar businesses with similar ethics as your own and piggyback your marketing efforts. In most of the contracting fields there is more than enough business to go around. So make your prospects needs the number priority by making certain they receive the best product and service from the best company for their specific situation and the future success of your business is all but assured.
Michael Hart is a speaker, author, talk radio host and shameless publicity hound. His marketing and publicity strategies have been featured in numerous magazines including: Selling, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Sales and Marketing Executive Report and many others. He is the host the "Michael Hart Radio Show" which can be heard on stations across the U.S. He can be reached at 205.362.6419 or michael@MichaelHartSpeaks.com .