Strategic Partner Network
So we are going to cover as we have in every second we're going to cover a lot of ground with this one, I'm going to introduce really one kind of the final topic, if you will that's new, but then we are going to jump into bringing a few of you individually up here, too. We only talk about remember, I gave you homework and told you, go home and work on this, or go back to your hotels and work on this, and so we're gonna bring a few of you up to see what kind of progress you've made you're you're also free, as I suspect, maybe some of you will to say, I don't get this or I didn't get this or didn't do the homework, and so then maybe as a group will sort of collectively help you fill in that segment, if that is the case that you're in. All right, so we're going to end talking about a strategic partner network, and this is really this is an element of referral generation, quite frankly, and in fact, a lot of times, you know, in my one of my previous books that referral injun, I cover this ...
content a lot of times when I get asked to speak broadly on the whole topic of referrals, this is a this is a key segment because I think that the ability to build an effective strategic partner network might be one of the most potent things that that you can do now the way you power that strategic partner network is everything we've talked about you know, previously in this program having content and having a really clear idea of who makes an ideal client having your core message I mean these are all things that in why they came first in this program is because these are all things that really power a lot of these other things that we have talked about like your sales process and like your social media and you can't really skip one and expect to do well in some of the others and you'll see how I bring that into this idea of a strategic partner network I think pretty quickly now let me define what I mean by that because again strategic partner that could mean a lot of things when I'm essentially talking about his other non competing businesses that have your same potential ideal client are ideal prospect in mind who could somehow that you could somehow develop a relationship with so that you could actually co market or or somehow they could refer you or they could bring you in to speak a lot of the things that we talked about actually intentionally building a network of businesses that that could do that and the reason I really love this is because a lot of times when people think in terms of referrals they really focus on primarily if not exclusively on their clients which I understand their customers I mean I get that they know how brilliant you are they could talk you know, very very elegantly about what it is that you do what you've done and the results that they've gotten but the nice thing about developing a street strategic partner network is that the right strategic partner might have one hundred or two hundred you know, prospects that they can introduce you to or that they could put you in front of and so in terms of really having a powerful and referral tool there's really a few things you beat it the right customer might have three or four friends or neighbors or colleagues that they can think of on so you really the you know, the math on this obviously I think is what makes it worth putting in the effort to do this so here's the essential kind of framework for how to build a strategic partner network the first one is you have to adopt the right frame of mind a lot of times when I start talking about the strategic partnering no idea people think in terms of oh yeah I'll go and find other people who could help me write I'll find other people who could send business to me and what I'd like you to do is consider your existing customers and ask yourself, what are all the other services, products? Things that they might actually need in order to grow their business, make their life what they wanted to be, you know, succeed in other ways, what are all the other things that they need? And so then from asking that question, I want to I want to suggest that you then try to build a strategic partner network or this team of best of class providers that could actually fill as many of those needs as possible, right? So instead of thinking in terms ofthe who could I get to refer me think in terms of, how could I be a how could I add value to my client's life or to my customers, life by being a resource for them, for everything else that they might need, right? So that when you build trust with a customer, when you're working with a customer and they go, oh, you know, we really haven't found that florist, or we really haven't found that other thing that we need, you know, for our wedding or for whatever it is we're doing that you're actually khun saying, you know what, here's a person or here's, a couple people that I trust that I know, I mean, I've worked with I'd love to refer to you, so I think that now let's see what's gonna happen is if you get in the habit of doing this, you know, the end game and all of this is that you will end up generating referrals you will end up having strategic partners who send you business, but if you look at it as a way to actually increase the value that you provide your customers I think you'll go in with the right frame of mind so in other words, as you develop this best of class team, you know you have to constantly be asking yourself, would I refer my best customer to these people or they don't make it on the list? So what? I think the mistake that a lot of people make when they start this idea is they go and they start trying to find hey, who could send me the most business? Andi, I think that that's where the breakdown occurs immediately but if you if you said if I didn't get a single referral from any of my strategic partners but I was able to actually help my customers get more of what they needed by referring people of them, I think that this idea would have value to you does that make sense? Because that's a that's a that's a a shift for a lot of people and how to really approach this sow again? I can't stress enough nobody shows up on your left of people that you would want to be strategic partners unless they meet that qualification, you really feel like you would send your best customer to them? Okay, so the next step is then I want you to think in terms of identifying, you know, who are, you know, what are all these needs that my customers actually have what you know and you may not come up with the whole comprehensive list, but I would suggest we went around the room, you could you could start spouting out eight or ten, you know, potential other non competing strategic partners that could be it could show up on this list, then you're going to want to recruit those, and I'm going to show you very specific process for how I've done this for years, but then you're gonna want to, and this is where a lot of times this breaks down, once you identify and recruit those people and you get him interested in talking to you about an idea of a strategic partner network, you know what you're going to do to activate him? There's a lot of people, you've probably had people over the years they've said, hey, we should be working together. You know we really have the same clients and I really like what you're doing and then you shake hands and never talk about it again right? Because nobody really has the the the tool or the processed actually put this in place in a way that makes sense and then if you really take this idea too hard I'm going to suggest that you can actually build an entire kind of platform around this idea when I mean by platform is is so the platform that we talked about in the earlier in the programme the blogging the podcasting in the video the speaking that you think in terms of how could you engage your strategic partner network in that so could use could these be guests bloggers could these be people you interviewed could these be people that you did videos with? Could these be people that you would act that would actually invite you in to their networks to speak so you take that platform idea now and you bring it over to your strategic partner network as well so that was the overarching explanation so now let's break each of those down so the first one is simply to identify so let me let me engage you guys in this in this component of it so I have a couple of forms that we use all the time one is for b to b and one is for being too see but if if so, if I were to ask you to identify some potential strategic partners so I'm goingto pick on jason who would who would potential strategic part is just so obvious that's why I had to do it just to get the ball rolling I was looking for that who are they who are sin potential strategic partners for your business as you grasp this concept uh most most notably that comes to mind would be wedding planners, wedding coordinators, right? Um florists, photographers of course we'll really everybody in the ecosystem yeah, exactly but really I mean in the end, right? Because, you know, wedding planner may actually in some ways be may actually be too big and not a big necessarily but may want to control all the components of it, right? Whereas all the moving parts might actually want to or might actually be more prepared to actually refer each other right on dh I'm sure that you had people that come to you that aren't using a wedding planner that are still missing six or eight of the of the components are hadn't thought of that so some of you like you're you're some of your courses that you do like the timeline course sure a lot of that is to identify here's all the here's all the things people usually do in this that you might not have thought up right so that to me you know your list would be pretty easy but how would you identify necessarily of the best ones? Because I'm not talking about a yellow pages directory here, right? We wanted this is your best of class team how could you identify those in in my current sales pitch if you will in my meetings that I have which you're teaching right? Well not your pitch your current sales teaching my sales teacher where have I been filled in that process? One of the things that I actually speak to is working with a team of professionals so everybody being on the same page whether there's three of us or thirty of us working together to make sure that we meet one core common goal, which is the outcome of this wedding? So those are the people that I would look to to put on that list of people that are going to be on board with everything that happens about butting heads through the process, right totally totally agree with that, but how do you identify who those actual people are? Apparently I don't know that, okay, so there isn't anyone answer, I mean some sometimes by reputation, right? I mean, they're vendors or suppliers that everybody knows they're just great, right? But one of the greatest places to find people to put on this list of yours is to ask your customer who else do they buy from? Who else do they think is best of class? The nice thing about starting there with your list is that if they really already refer, you know, they really already trust that person. You've kind of got a common bond already, right? You both share a customer. So you have. I think that potential opportunity to really take that at least those people that's the first place to goto look to be on your list so I know you haven't really shared any of your strategic partners. What about what? What jumps to mind when you hear that idea of what could be, who might show up on your list, what types of businesses might show up on your list? So for me, it would be other women in business who have the lifestyle thing going, so it could be people in health and fitness. S o r the common thing would be that we work with women business, so mine would be more of the business strategy. Howto get super focus and focus on one thing at a time, moving forward and incorporating fun. So I would look for people in the lifestyle space so that's where I was so your current clients are you are you and I'm just starting you're just okay so the idea would be that you would look at your current clients and say hey, if I'm looking for people that want this from me there's a good chance that they were but they're also looking at nutrition and health and fitness and those areas so you'd want to maybe start identifying people that you could when you started working with them I'm guessing that if you're helping them design their lifestyle plan you lose your pride components that you're going to tell him you need to be doing thanks right and so so it's I think in your case it's almost part of your product teo really tohave that strategic partner network is so I think that's one of the goals that you ought to really set out right away is to start identifying who who those people are because I know and in your case a lot of times people come to you and they want the strategic component but they want all the tactical things that you don't either have the expertise to do will want to do s o it becomes part of your product a cz well does that make sense? Yeah so for so far of my web tv show that I want to start I can find fill in the blank so women are so focused on the business they let the lifestyle so I can figure out what other people are doing that and then interview them howto get better at this or how to spend more time doing the things, and I think you'll have the opportunity because you will probably attract people that are working with some of those professionals already on dh that would be the opportunity for you to start expanding your or define people that people already know and trust. So anybody else have you want to share? What in your world, what would what would be some potential great strategic partners? Coaches? Uh, like a business coach, you are our life coaches. I mean, they're they're sort of merging thursdays web designers, bookkeeper, anything that small business owners need, right? And I think again, probably a great ifyou're because one of these you're trying to do is this not just identify somebody who can do that. It's got to be somebody. You again, the the, uh, the bar that I always like to say that you would send your best client without hesitation. So it does require you to do a little work to learn that you know, from those people and how they operate kind of on that, obviously is a d j my personality is what I saw, which means I'm only available for one of it ahead of time. Is it okay to have my competitors on that list a cz well in the sense that I'm unavailable yeah that's a really great question I think that absolutely is because and I'm sure that there are certain industries like that worse is really common where people like I can't do it but you know, throw it overto you know so and so I mean, I think that's a really common practice and I think I'm a firm believer that at some point in time you're going to get that back right? You know, maybe maybe tenfold so so absolutely that they should I mean obviously you want to take the work you want to take sure but I think that if you can make somebody happy by saying look go to this person they'll take care of you I think that's a win for both right on I do think that would come back s o that's great great question okay, so now that we've identified some of these people, we've built this list of potential strategic partners by talking to our clients or by just by reputation or just really by going out and really scouring or maybe it's people you actually do business with that are you that you already know? I mean there's lots of ways for people to show up on your list now we want to take the process of actually educating those people right? Because if we well let me back up what we want to do now is invite those people right to actually be a part of our strategic partner network and so I'm going to show you a couple tools or a process for how you actually make that happen and one of them starts with you first developing a tool so that you can properly educate your strategic partners so remember we talked about how when I spot your ideal client and I told you this would come back again you need to be able to tell people that are going to be your potential strategic partners frankly you need to be able to tell your existing customers who might want to refer you know how they would spot your ideal customer how to present kind of here's what we do that's different you know, here's our core message you might think in terms of developing a list of trigger statements we haven't talked about this much but anybody who's really been selling any period of time it all recognize when a client says something that you go oh yeah you need us you know you you just said the exact thing that you know that really demonstrates that you really need us so like for instance in my business people will commonly say I'm doing really great marketing but it's it's totally unorganized which you know really means that that whole systems approach is really going to appeal to them or we have grown to a certain point, and now he seems stuck and we can't go to the next level. I mean, those are those are actual phrases that people will say that almost always guarantees that that is somebody that my message is going to resonate with because they're experiencing the exact thing that I need. And and I called those trigger statements because people never, ever has anybody lashing, say, ever, but most of time, people don't come to me and say, I wish I had more marketing, right? Or I wish I had a marketing consultant, but they do say we're stuck and we can't go to the next level and so that's a trigger statement, I will go a lot of software companies, and nobody ever walks around says I sure wish I had more accounting software, right? They say my receivables were never on my accountant's always after me, because we can't get him, you know, updated reports. So those types of things that I've actually worked with clients over the years where we've had them developed a whole page of of statements that they've heard and that they know if somebody's saying this or thinking this or experiencing this, you know, that that's who you should refer to us. Andi actually had a law firm one time that we developed a whole page and they would laminate it and give it to all their best clients who wanted to refer them and that they client would just sticking in the in a drawer somewhere when they were talking to somebody who said, you know, I have one of their list of trigger statements, it was kind of like, okay, that's now is the time that I really should refer, so that could be really kind of a fun thing to play with, to say, if you hear somebody say ax, you know, tell them that we can help, right? So think about that at some point, but if you have some sort of referral offer and then also but your your marketing process, so when you refer somebody to us here is what we actually do with that referral, you want to make sure that you put people's minds at ease so that you're not going to just now start spamming them, where you're just going to start calling them all the time that you say, look, we're going to invite them to this, we'll send them this free information, we just tell him what it is you're going to do, what I found is by having kind of this, this formal education process, and, again, you can definitely you definitely should create something like this for your existing customers with those customers that come to you and say, how can I help? I would love to tell the world about your business, you want to actually sit down with them and maybe go through this or giving a sheet of paper that has this kind of information on it. So wave created, actually a form that basically asked those specific questions, so if you're trying to educate somebody on how to refer you, but the rial way, that this idea applies to your strategic partner network, I call this first when the perfect introduction, right, that that's that's a way so that if your son was going to introduce you to their friends or their neighbour, you know, this is kind of the perfect this is the perfect information you want them to use, right? But if you just sent that to a potential strategic partner and said, hey, we wantyou refers your pride, I'm going to get very far, right? I don't think you will. Spirits tells me you want, right, but if you take that idea and flip it around, and so you've identified your list of let's, say, it's, eight or ten or twenty potential strategic partners, what if you send them a letter that said, we have clients that we believe could benefit from your products or services or maybe even we have a mutual client right? Because it's somebody you share a client with andi we believe we have other clients that we believe could benefit from your business and we'd love it from your products or services and we'd love it if you would spend a few minutes and tell us the best way to refer you to our clients when we have that need and by the way we have included a form in there that you can fill out so we know how to best refer you to make it very easy for you to tell us how to refer you and we've also included a completely form on our business just so that you understand the best way to fill out this form and if you're interested in talking you know, send that send that back to us so what we've done here hey everybody guess what we've done here is we've kind of completely flipped this idea around so instead of saying hey, you guys look really great about you could send us some business let's talk sometime about being partners you're basically inviting people to tell you about their business because you think that you might have potential opportunities for them now if you got that letter would you be a totally still pay a little more attention to it? Maybe be a little more apt to respond to that and then you've made it really easy because you've you've given him essentially a form that they can complete to send back that information and you've shown them how you've completed it so you kind of you you have without them knowing it, you've educated them on your business, right? But the entire basis of this idea is that nobody shows up on your list unless you truly would want to know about their business and potentially refer them so my folks that I have gotten to use this process that I call the perfect introduction in reverse get about a fifty percent return on these so they identify and in some cases businesses that don't know them at all, you know, they just showed up on list because they had a high reputation and they wanted to network with this business they'll get about fifty percent return on people saying okay, whether they fill out the form or they just e mailed back or call back and say that was interesting let's talk I'd like to learn more about your business on dso you started the process than of kind of recruiting these people on dh here's the next kind of key component to that because you don't want to just have a meeting and have them tell yes you do you want to kind of vet them you want to learn about their business they may actually be a potential referral source but you don't want it to end there you want to actually be that person or that business that says, hey, I have an idea how we can take this farther right away so once you've recruited and you've had this introduction kind of meeting think in terms of what would be the content opportunities so instead of just saying, hey, we should work together sometime what if you said, hey, I'd like to do a video interview with you I'd like to do a podcast with you I'd liketo have I'd like to have you right a guess post for our block post because you know, these would be some ways that I actually you could actually get good content you could actually expose, you know their businesses to your networks all of a sudden you're not only making it easy you're making suggestions and ideas for them right away to benefit by being part of your strategic network even though they don't really know that that's what they signed up for necessarily yet you might even think in terms of you know what would be some special offers that you could get from them so in other words, do they have products that they would like to give you? Do they have some sort of discounts they'd like to give you that you could share you know, with your network teo help expose them I worked years ago with a a graphic designer that went to a print shop and for any time somebody came to them and designed they wanted a new logo for their business. They would give them a gift certificate for five hundred three business cards at the print shops. All of sudden you here was the graphic designer who was designing your logo who also got, you know, free business cards. Well, the print shop, of course, knew that you were probably gonna get other stuff. You know, back when we used letterhead and envelopes and things like that, you were probably order a lot of other stuff so that five hundred business cards was nothing if that got you in the door. But for the graphic designer, that was a little value add that got that got her business because she was able to go to her clients and say, oh, by the way, if you're a new client of mine, you know, this is something special you get so a lot of your potential strategic partners might might want to put together an entire package, you know, of that type of thing because they get exposure for that, but you get value add for doing that. Obviously, if you have the opportunity, start making referrals to some of these strategic partners. If you can become customers of the strategic partners, rate them, review them really build this kind of bond, and really right now, everything I've talked about is your feels like maybe you're kind of giving in this relationship, but what you know ultimately will happen, of course, is that they'll start seeing value in that they'll start talking about you. They will not. They will. I can almost guarantee you they will send you business just by virtue of the fact that you are giving them opportunities to expose their business to your content, your network, your clients. Does that make sense? Is anybody doing any kind of any kind of strategic relationships right now? That that have that mirror this in any way at all? I'm working on working on sirius. Actually, I wanted teo. Have you photographed me later? Take pictures of me looking like this with signing the book which actually it's really fun because I get to interact with authors and creatives musicians and create interesting portrait other off their work and it's a way for me, teo, to create something interesting and show up in creative relationship was more like a famous but familiar faces into into my own work shirt. So yeah, that's. Great that's. Great. Uh, anybody else, what are you doing well? I've actually met some people through creative live who have other steamy on here. I've watched them and watching other things and there's this one girl named gina heart, who is like a hybrid of oprah and martha stewart, and so even planning that was the visual actually weigh the contents. So we've been planning an interview siri's back and forth, so I'll interview her on x y z, and then she'll do the same. And, um, so that's been pretty cool, same with a couple of other people who have gone through so these air great, these great starters ideas, e I hope you see that I'm asking you to think much bigger about a nen tire platform where you, you are providing your entire strategic network value before you're ever really asking for anything. What you can also do almost immediately, though, is if you are producing content like I know you're going to, now that you're going all going to be content machines is that you can also turn that around and say, look, I'd like to write a guest blogged post for your blawg if you have that I've written this incredible e book that people seem to love I'd love to let you have it and send it to your network you can actually co branded put your logo on it as well on dh send it out to your network obviously it's going to talk about your business and you know at the end it's going tio going to provide lots of great content but in the end it's goingto also give you the opportunity to be introduced to their network tell them if you've created a great workshop which I know many of you were working on your killer point of view workshop now that you're gonna go out there on give talks on so go to your strategic partners now and suggests that you would be happy to do that workshop for them were put together take take a handful of your strategic partners three or four of your strategic partners and put together a half day of work shop so that you all just invite your your networks or you all kind of cross pollinate your networks so these are all ways that you can then use once you've built and started developed these relationships with the strategic partners these air all the ways that you can activate that strategic partner network and use your content to make it very easy for them to introduce you to their entire network I think that's where this idea breaks down a little bit for some people is that everybody has great intentions to work together, but it's a lot of work to figure out how to work together, but if you come to them and say here's an e book, you could send this out to your audience free of charge it's great content! You can put your logo on it because you're not producing content, even though john told you you needed to be producing content, so so you kind of automatically sort of activate that by being the one who shows up with a sort of out of the box solution. Where you going? Ask something, yeah was gonna say, maybe this is kind of an example of exactly what you're talking about. So in developing the teacher training for maximum performance yoga, I've reached out and I've looked for celebrity yoga teachers who are already out there using social media. One example is, I found a teacher, a male yoga teacher who does athletic yoga in austin, texas, was in austin for a conference. We had dinner, I said, hey, I would love to feature you on the teacher training program, he says, great, you know? But I've been working so hard on my brand he has, he has, like twelve thousand likes on facebook. He says I don't want to give up my brand and I said to him you don't have to give up your brand in fact use your brand you khun just work with us when it's convenient will promote and market you and then in exchange you market us to your brand so I think the idea of letting other independent contractors keep their brand keep what they're doing and partnering is starting to serve us and there was another yoga teacher too who came on board because we didn't make her give up her brand keep do what she's good at and then cross promote yeah now that's that's a great variation of what I just talked about it and particularly in your case because it's going to be bring your very specific audience together because they already have built that audience of people that should be interested in what what it is that you're doing so absolutely any thoughts or questions about this idea of strategic relationships are we wearing him out? Well, I think some people are still having some questions on how they balance all of this thanks question comes from a new band. They say so do I need to partner with joint venture partners if I have products and services there's no way I can also be producing content and doing all the social interaction and establishing these conti's connections with these other partners now, this is why all big companies have sales departments. But what if we are still the only person in our company? Yes. So that that becomes I mean, it's a distribution channel is what it becomes. So the decision on whether or not to do that joint ventures that actually could be pretty powerful. I mean, they already have a network. They may be already have a sales channel. They may be already have established customers. Obviously. There's a trade off, you know? What are they gonna want in order to do that joint venture? Right? Or they're gonna want fifty percent of the sale is, and that could be a good decision on your part. But you have to make that decision. So it becomes a distribution and a scale question. How do you want to grow? How do you want to distribute your products? Do you want to ultimately billed to the point over time where maybe you start hiring sales people? So I think that's it's really more? It probably comes all the way back to session one where we were talking about you know what, the picture of your business in three years on dh that I think that's, how you ultimately make some decisions about that specific question.