Strategic Alliances Boost Sales

Two business owners met in a pub in Seattle in late January of this year. We’ll call them Barry and Bob to protect their identity. I had met with Bob to discuss increasing sales in his office furniture business and given him an idea to use. He had identified Barry as a potential Joint Venture partner for this marketing system and arranged a meeting.

Bob’s offer went something like this:

“Barry, we both sell good office furniture and we both offer great service. You’re not to far away from where I am based, as you know, and I have an idea to run by you. What is your average closing ratio? In other words, out of every ten people you pitch, how many buy from you?”

Bob replied that he sold about two in ten.

“So, Barry, what do you do with the other eight prospects? It cost you good marketing money to find them, and they all have an urgent need for office furniture, and they can afford it, or you wouldn’t be talking with them. If they leave your store, they’re going to buy somewhere else, right?”

“You’re right, Bob. What do you suggest, Bob?”

“I suggest that you say to everyone who doesn’t buy from you, ‘I’m so sorry I couldn’t help you today. I know you’re serious about getting some office furniture right away, and I hate to waste your valuable time, so I’m going to call a good friend of mine who offers equally good products and service to what I do, and ask him to meet with you and see if he can help you.’ Then you call me and set up an appointment with your prospect. I’ll do the same for you. That way, Barry, we each get to see 18 prospects instead of 10! I see your pre-sold prospects and you see mine!”

Since they instituted this simple, yet effective system, both Barry and Bob have seen significant increases in their sales figures, at absolutely no cost or risk. Try it in your business; work WITH your “competition”, and make more money!

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