Posted in Communication

Building Alliances: How to Get Your Business to Work for You - by Gail Kasper

Gail Kasper is an Author, Television Host, Certified Fitness Trainer, and Motivational Speaker.

 

An alliance is a business connection that has access to your same customer base.  It can be a tedious process … but will ultimately, when approached properly, produce long-term satisfying results.  

 

The challenge is that many business owners or sales representatives approach alliances with idealistic hopes that the relationship will materialize by itself.  The reality is that alliances take time and effort to develop.  But once developed, they are easy to manage and a great source of success.  

 

How to acquire an Alliance:  There are 3 different ways to acquire alliances.  You may have a friend who owns a business, you may become a part of a networking group, or you may cold call an opportunity. Whether a business owner or a sales representative, typically the best alliances come from two sources: people you know or people who have the same goals as you do.  

 

1.  Friend/family member.  In other words, you may know a Realtor or Insurance Agent and because they know you, they are more likely to help you. To identify potential friends or acquaintenances, sit down with a pen and piece of paper.  On the sheet of paper, make 3 columns.  In column one, make a list of all the people you “know” and “do” business with.  The list may include your friends and family, your dry cleaner, your printer, your hairdresser.  Don’t grade the list.  Don’t avoid writing down certain names.  As a matter of fact, write down every name you can think of.  Everyone.  When you absolutely can’t think of anyone else, next to their name, in column 2, identify what they do for a living.  In column three, list the types of industries for which they might associate. People know people and when you are forming an alliance, you are forming an alliance not only with one person, but with everyone they know.  That’s a lot of people.  

 

Your next step is to call them.  Call these friends, family members, and business relationships.  Tell them about your business and ask to meet with them for about 15 minutes.  Let them know that you would like to explore how you might be able to help each other build businesses.  If they cannot help you, it’s time to use your referral process on them.  “I can certainly understand that…Charles…but do you know a realtor or insurance agent with whom I may contact…two names would be great….” In other words, identify a specific industry for which you would like to pursue and ask for “their” help.  

 

From this list, you will gather multiple names, contacts, and well as appointments.  It is up to you to be selective as not every person is the right match or has the same drive that you have.

 

2.  Networking Groups. Any person looking to develop an Alliance must be part of a networking group.  Networking groups such as LeTip or Business Network International are a great start. Networking groups such as BNI (www.bni.com) or LeTip (www.letip.com) are easy to join, meet typically once per week, cost about a dollar a day, and take only one representative from any industry.  Essentially, if you are a real estate agent in the residential market, there would only be one residential real estate agent in that group…. and that would be you.  Therefore, you may need to search multiple groups to find the best match.  Organizations such as LeTip and BNI have multiple groups in multiple areas.  

 

A networking group opens the door to get to know new people.  These people are just as anxious as you to build their business and the beauty of it is that there is a bound to be several individuals who have the customer base you are seeking.  

 

The cost is minimal compared to the results if you approach it with an open mind and consistency. You have to be consistent in going.  A common problem I see with those attending that did not find success from a networking group are the ones that showed up once a month or went twice and they stopped for 3 months.  You must be consistent.  Every week, you must be there.  When you are there every week, you also become a friendly face so now these other sales representatives feel even more comfortable working with you.   

 

3. Cold Calling.  Developing your own networking group is another option.  Identify the industries for which you would like to pursue and then simply do a “Google” search of businesses in the area.  Your goal is to set up appointments with some of these businesses and find the best math for you.  What’s important is that you are working toward the same goal, speak weekly, and brainstorm creative ideas to help each other succeed.    

 

As a sales trainer who has helped leading organizations achieves outstanding results, my suggestion would be to practice all three methods.  Diversity in sales is key to success!

 

About Gail Kasper: 

Mid-1998, Gail Kasper started her business from a  small one-bedroom apartment, with no money and no clients. Today, Gail  is the host of the late-night television show Raw Reality, one of the  nation's leading speakers, author, Top 1% Club Mentor, advice  columnist, Certified Fitness Trainer, Ms. Continental America 2008,  and the creator of SAD-T™ (Systematic Attitude Development- Technique™). A former Contributing Editor to Success Magazine with the  "Ask Gail" column and host of the "Ask Gail" segment on the Comcast  morning show, Gail is the author of her self-help autobiography  Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self-Imprisonment To Total Empowerment and the self-help parable Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps  To Achieve Your Goals. With national media appearances that include  Inside Edition, The Today Show, FOX Business News, and Oprah and  Friends, Gail has earned the ranking of an in-demand national media  personality who has been the topic of discussion on Regis and Kelly.  Also, the current host of the Philadelphia Visitors Channel, she has  also made numerous appearances on network affiliates that include ABC,  FOX, CW11, Comcast, and CBS, where she co-hosted the Emmy award- winning America's TVJobNetwork. www.gailkasper.com

 

This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.