Home    Articles    WebMazine    Free Wallpapers    Links    Contact 

Search Hillsorient

  * * *


Keys to Attracting Win-Win Strategic Alliances

by Judy Murdoch

More Business Skills Articles

Previous Articles Articles Next Article

Published on this site: April 21st, 2010 - See more articles from this month

The most potent marketing strategy for any small business owner is not a great website, or lots of Facebook friends, or a killer networking plan.

The marketing strategy that will get you faster and farther than anything else put together is developing strategic alliances with other businesses so you can promote each others products and services.

Strategic alliances are powerful because:

  • you are exposing each other to your networks

  • you are endorsing another business' product or service which enhances or complements your own

And how do you find strategic partners? Well, you decide the qualities of an ideal strategic partner for your business; you begin to identify those businesses; and you get in touch to suggest a partnership.

Problems with Proposing Strategic Alliance:

I was inspired to write this week's article because I've received several strategic alliance requests recently that were really, really off-target.

And I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I consider an effective way to propose a strategic alliance with another business.

To illustrate effective and ineffective approaches to strategic alliance proposals I'm going to use those heroes of doctor's office waiting rooms: Goofus and Gallant.

If you didn't spend much time in doctor's waiting rooms during the 60's and 70's here's a quick explanation: Goofus and Gallant was a feature in Highlights: a children's magazine which offered entertaining and educational information for school-aged kids.

Goofus and Gallant was a comic with two boys--Goofus was a jerk: inconsiderate and selfish. Gallant was, well, gallant: considerate and polite.

Strategic Alliance Proposal: Goofus-Style:

When Goofus writes to a prospective strategic ally, his is interested in one thing and one thing only: what he, Goofus, will gain.

It's all about Goofus.

Things Goofus does when he writes his proposal to make sure there's no question who the proposal is all about:

  • Goofus doesn't know much about the company he's sending his proposal except the bare minimal to make contact. He doesn't look at the company's website, know what the company's products and services are, or who the company services.

  • Goofus' proposal is all about his accomplishments and work experiences. He assumes that the recipient will be able to figure out which qualities and accomplishments are relevant and which are not.

  • Goofus uses the shotgun approach. He gets as many prospective business contacts as he can and mass mails the same email to every contact. Goofus figures if he emails enough businesses, one or two will want to work with him.

  • Goofus sees business as a zero sum game. If someone else gets a customer, it's a customer Goofus didn't get. There can be only one winner and Goofus wants to make sure its him.

Now, confession time, I'm guilty of sending Goofus-style proposals. Why? Mostly because I didn't know how to write something more effective.

Fortunately, I've learned how to write a proposal that actually connects with prospective allies.

Read on for the Gallant-style proposal.

Strategic Alliance Proposal Gallant-style:

To sum up Gallant's approach, Gallant assumes that the business owner he's approaching first needs to be able to trust that Gallant wants a win-win partnership before they'll take the next step.

Here is what Gallant does to make sure his proposal clearly communicates that he wants everyone to benefit:

  • Gallant takes the time to learn about the business he's approaching. He knows who the key people are in the business, he knows what the business' products and services are, he's visited their website and perhaps he's even read a few articles written by the business owner.

  • From checking out the business, Gallant understands the complementary opportunities from a strategic alliance.

  • Gallant's proposal speaks clearly and specifically to how a joint venture will benefit his prospective strategic partner. For example, he can give examples of why his readers will appreciate and respond to an article written by this prospective partner.

  • Gallant uses a shotgun approach to identifying and getting in touch with strategic partners. He has thought through what qualities an ideal strategic partner has and knows how to find those partners. This is why he can approach these companies in such a personal way.

Why Companies Don't Use the Gallant-Style Approach:

The biggest objection is "it takes too much time." And the Gallant-style approach for sure takes longer than the Goofus-style approach.

No argument from me.

But if you look at the time spent from the perspective of which hours produce the best results in terms of attracting profitable strategic partnerships, Gallant-proposals are a lot more effective.

Burning Bridges versus Opening Doors:

Plus, a "no" to a Goofus proposal is usually a "no and don't come back." Goofus proposals result in slammed doors and burned bridges.

Gallant proposals that don't result in a "yes" or a "let's talk more" usually result in a "let's talk in six months" or"it doesn't fit what we need but here's someone who could use what you offer."

Bottom Line

If you approach other businesses to ask about strategic partnership opportunities and you're not much response, you may be sending Goofus-style proposals.

Gallant-style proposals require extra time and effort to personalize and speak to specific win-win benefits, but every hour you spend putting effort into a Gallant-style proposal is easily worth the effort of sending 100 Goofus proposals.

Not to mention the doors that open when the company you're approaching feels truly seen, heard, and appreciated.

Judy Murdoch helps small business owners create low-cost, effective marketing campaigns using word-of-mouth referrals, guerrilla marketing activities, and selected strategic alliances. To download a free copy of the workbook, "Where Does it Hurt? Marketing Solutions to the problems that Drive Your Customers Crazy!" go to http://www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm. You can contact Judy at 303-475-2015 or [email protected].

Previous Articles Articles Next Article



Home | Articles | WebMazine | Links | Contact | Search

Articles: Advertising | Banking | Blogging | Business Skills | Computers | Computer - Networking | Design | Environment | Etiquette | Home Business | Internet | Lifestyle | Management | Network Marketing | Podcasting | Publishing | Search Engine Optimization | Self Improvement | Social Networking | Web Hosting

Design Indezine.com All Rights Reserved.© 2000-2010
Unauthorised duplication of copying by any means prohibited.

* * *