When looking to expand a business, we try to figure out ways to find new clients/customers or whatever they are called in your field. Too often, when doing this, we think about how we can work independently to find new contacts or to find ways to “steal” contacts from other organizations.
An alternative to trying to steal contacts from other organizations is to try to work WITH other organizations to increase each others businesses.
An example of this would be a web design firm. Rather than simply going out and marketing to potential new clients, the web design firm might partner with some advertising agencies. By doing this, if the advertising agency needs web sites done for their clients, they would send the business to the web design firm (after marking up the price somewhat) and if the web design firm has clients with advertising needs, they would send them to the advertising agency (again with a bit of a mark up).
A Realtor might partner with some general contractors (the GC might know when people are fixing their house to put it on the market and the Realtor might know people who need their house fixed up after purchasing or before selling).
A restaurant might partner with conference centers. Even if the conference center has it’s own kitchen and catering staff, the restaurant might be able to offer something the caterers aren’t able to offer (different style, higher end etc)
Not only does this possibly open your organization to new opportunities, it also might help “close the deal” on people who aren’t sure. A simple example is the person who was debating about coming to West Virginia in late June for 5 days of training. They saw a lot of pros and cons but the biggest con was they were planning a family vacation in that general time period and wasn’t sure how to get around that. The solution was to have their family stay at a clients hotel, show them things they can do in the area and then make arrangements for them at a white water rafting to spend a few days rafting, hiking, mountain climbing etc. It turns into a win/win/win situation because the person gets the training they need, the hotel gets additional business, the rafting company gets business they never would have had and my client signs the contract.
Look to form alliances whenever possible as it expands your client pool, adds additional marketing resources and also allows you to bounce ideas off of each other.
Have a great day!