Accelerating Business Growth

Friday, May 19, 2006

"How to Create Alliance Partnerships & Strategic Alliances"

I was with a Client last week talking through a number of sales and marketing strategies for their business. It was one of those sessions where you enter the ‘white room’ and completely forget about all the activities they’re currently doing. Almost like having a blank piece of paper and starting from scratch.

I’ve been working with this client for a while so I also wanted to come at their business with a fresh pair of eyes.

The Scenario…

So, we created the scenario and imagined that this was our first day in the business and our focus was on lead generation. Together we wrote a quality focused question:

What are the various strategies we can engage in, in order to attract quality, relational clients through the front door of the business?

…And then we set about coming up with the answers.

3 hours later and 113 ideas on the flip chart, Phil turned to me and said:

“Royston if you had to pick your top 2 ideas what would they be?”

I replied “That’s easy. The first has to be referrals from your existing clients”

“The second one is easy also I replied – Creating Alliance Partnerships or Strategic Alliances.”

Alliance Partnerships…

My focus in business development and sales is always on quality and not quantity. I want both my sales team, and the teams of the businesses we work with to be truly effective in their activities. That process starts by having quality leads and opportunities to work with.

With the focus on quality at the forefront of my mind I can then set about creating the strategies which are going to deliver the quality leads to the business.

And the second key strategy after client referrals has to be Alliance Partnerships.

You know my passion for simple, quality focused questions. Identifying your potential Alliance Partnerships is based on another quality question. It’s this:

Who has a target market of customers or clients who fit the profile of clients you want to attract to your business?

You might want to read that question again slowly and really digest each component part as it really is a powerful question.

Let me give you an example in order to bring this to life for you:

Pti is in the business of helping businesses to grow.

So, when answering the above question wearing my Pti hat, the first one that springs to mind is Accountants.

A reasonable sized accountant will have hundreds of clients and customers they’re working with. They are having detailed discussions with those business owners about their plans on a regular basis and are ideally positioned to identify the ones which are in growth mode and also the ones which have the potentiality for future growth.

Where the expertise to realise the growth does not exist in the business, the accountant brings in Pti. The client benefits because they can now tap into our expertise. The accountant is delighted because as we help their client to grow, their fees increase – a Win/Win/Win for all parties.

We have Alliance Partnerships with Accountants, Banks, IFA’s, Solicitors, Brokers, Venture Capitalists to name just a few.

These Alliance Partners are a continuous source of quality leads and the conversion rates are 500% higher than on other lead generation activities.

So, how can you use this idea?

Firstly, either individually or with some of your key team members run a focused question exercise using this question:

Who has a target market of customers or clients who fit the profile of clients I want to attract to my business?

Capture as many ideas as you can. Think about existing business contacts you have, friends, suppliers etc.

Then simply priortise the list for FBI (Fastest Best Impact!)

You’ll be amazed at the number of opportunities you create!

Written by Royston Guest - Pti International Ltd


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