How to create strategic alliances that increase sales

In my previous blog, I talked about network marketing and how the power is in the network of people around you. However you don’t need to be in a network marketing business to apply the principles. I’m talking here about strategic alliances, a model similar to affiliate marketing.

What is affiliate marketing?

In effect, affiliate marketing is an arrangement whereby external companies or individuals (affiliates) promote your products and services to their clients. Usually, this would be in exchange for a commission. However with a strategic alliance, commission isn’t necessary.

Who should I choose to create strategic alliances with?

Rather than a typical affiliate model, a savvy alternative is to create strategic alliances. To do this, the first step is to brainstorm other companies that have a similar client base to you. I don’t mean competitors, but companies whose products or services perhaps complement your own.

Let’s look at an example: a high end tailor will likely have a similar customer profile to a expensive car retailer. Similarly, a builder and a plumber will have very similar client bases, as could a wedding photographer and a florist.

Having very different products but similar clients could make these businesses perfect strategic partners. Networking groups such as BNI, Sterling and BoB operate in much the same way, encouraging you to work closely with other companies to help each other create new contacts and clients.

How does it work?

Very simply, you promote each others’ products and services to your own respective clients, creating warm leads. The more people you can get in your network, the more relationships can be made. For a small business, and if done well, this is a great alternative to a sales team. Some network groups would refer to this a power team.

With these tips you can create your own power team. 5 or 6 key people working together will create a regular flow of business between one another. In addition, recommending trusted suppliers to your own clients will add more value to the service already provided and raise your credibility. Win, win!

As ever, if you’d like help to implement any of my advice, why not contact me to arrange a Free Business Review? This is a genuinely free 2 hour session whereby I’ll come into the business and spend two hours giving you advice to make positive changes. Click here to arrange yours now.

Network marketing: 4 tips to grow your team

I’ve had many requests recently to talk about Network Marketing; in this month’s blog I’m sharing 4 tips to grow your team and increase income.

What is Network Marketing?

Network marketing definition: Direct selling method in which independent agents serve as distributors of goods and services, and are encouraged to build and manage their own sales team by recruiting and training other independent agents.

The primary function of network marketing

A common mistake of network marketing agents (such as Forever Living agents or Utility Warehouse distributors) is to focus on sales of the product or service. In fact, the primary focus (in order to maximise income potential) should be to create your own network of salespeople. These ‘downliners’ are members recruited by you who will go on to generate income for you.

Motivating your downline

It’s not over once you’ve started to create your network, or downline. Having put the team together, they must be motivated to sell. Remember, their productivity has a direct relationship with your earning. Here are some tips to create a motivated salesforce:

1. Set goals

Goal setting with your members is two-fold. Sharing your own goals is a great motivator, you’ll be surprised how much buy in you’ll get from your team when they know what they’re working towards.

Don’t limit this to your goals though, establish with each individual why they’ve joined the team and what they want to get out of it. With that in mind, you can help them work towards their own goals and if they experience any downturn in activity, use their goals as a reminder.

2. Monthly meetings

Set up a regular monthly meeting, maybe in the pub! This frequent get-together will keep up momentum and gives the opportunity for you to be supportive, and for the team to support each other. Share best practice, give updates on performance against goals or targets and recognise successes. Why not try initiating team games or challenges with a prize for the winner? Prizes such as an afternoon tea for two or a deal on a night/weekend away can be inexpensive, but have a high perceived value to the recipient.

3. Whatsapp

A Whatsapp group is valuable way to keep in touch with one-another outside of the meetings. You most likely have these groups already in your personal life and they work just as well in your business. Post regularly into the group and encourage your downliners to post too. This will create an atmosphere of productivity and accelerate relationship building.

4. Develop key members

Keeping in regular contact with your team has the added benefit of spotting those individuals that have the capability to create their own team. Supporting and mentoring these key players to build their own downline will further enhance your network. Encourage them to use your techniques to repeat the process, creating an ongoing cycle.

Remember though, that everyone has their own style. Get to know people to ensure your support is tailored appropriately. You’ll then become someone they feel they can turn to. With a motivated, supported team, growing your network will be that much easier.

As ever, if you’d like help to implement any of my advice, why not contact me to arrange a Free Business Review? This is a genuinely free 2 hour session whereby I’ll come into the business and spend two hours giving you advice to make positive changes. Click here to arrange yours now.

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